Friday, July 4, 2014

Växjö and Småland in the World War 1 part 1

This year marks 100 year Anniversary  since Archduke Franz Ferdinand  of Austria -Hungary and his wife  were  assassinated in Sarajevo. An event that marked  the  beginning of the worst catastrophe that humanity had yet seen -  World War  1For this reason, the Kulturparken Småland (the Kronoberg county Museum) runs an  exibition about the  the outbreak of the war and how it directly and indirectly  affected the population  in Växjö,  KronobergCounty by the food shortages and high prizes on food.
The exhibition runs until November 11th.

The Outbreak of the war reported in the somewhat-German friendly  local newspaper

Sweden, together with the other Nordic countries declared themselves neutral. The Home Guard
was mobilized shortly after the outbreak of war  conscript and veteran reserve set. Their  equipment
was apparently not  of the latest model. Triangular felt hats l had probably been
poor protection against bullets and grenades and  the quality of the  weapons  also left a lot to be desired.

In Autumn of 1914 the swedish  municipalities were given  the right to establish Foad Boards  to regulate   the distibution of food . In Växjö one was  established in December 1914. The first meeting was held on December 21 In February 1916 The last meeting was held in 1921. Its  task was  to obtain the foods needed for municipal supply being stored and distributed properly , and to ensure that current regulations  for food rationing were  followed.
Below a Record book from the Vaxjo Food board from 1917.


Despite rationing there were food shortages and food speculation so called "profiteering",a particularly difficult situation was in the winter of 1916-1917. In connection with the Russian February  Revolution in March 1917 there  were demonstrations and even food riots in several parts of the country. In Växjö  sometimes women at the entrance to town and stopped  the farmers carts with groceries and followed them into the city  to make sure they were sold to the city's population. In April 23rd 1917  The workers held a meeting  in the People's House then about 1,000 people marched  to the Main Square where engineer Ernst Johansson read out the resolutionthe meeting had   adopted for  the mayor  of Växjö Bergendahl  who listened  to their demands  the People  then sang  the song "The Sons of Labour”  after which they cheered for the mayor.
Here a banner probably used by the demonstrator tion April 23, 1917. The texts on it says “More Bread End food speculation”.

On April 22 1917 , had some of the conscripts of  the Kronoberg regiments  twelfth company refused to show up at a church service  Ten  of the  conscripts were then arrested and put into custody . Later that day  conscripts and some members of the public  went to the the Bäckaslövs  school  then used as military camp for Conscripts  where the company was located to get the arrested free. Colonel Cavallin ordered the conscripts to return to the barracks the crowd dispersed only after "military pressure" had been used.

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