The Local Sweden

New online database raises visibility of vital women role models in Swedish history

With the launch today of the Biographical Dictionary of Swedish Women (SKBL), the University of Gothenburg has raised the profile of 1,000 socially-important women in Sweden's history and addressed a need for greater visibility of women role models. The launch coincides with International Women's Day, and the database makes good on this year's theme of #PressForProgress by seeking to redress women's continued underrepresentation in the annals of history.
The Local Sweden

Why America's gun culture made us raise our children in Sweden

I'm often asked why we have made the conscious decision not to live in the United States. Most people laugh at the first answer I generally give, which involves a certain person currently residing in a large white house in Washington, D.C. The laughter always stops when I give my second reason: I already worry enough about my children that I don't want to live in fear that they will be gunned down in a mass shooting, at school or anywhere else.
The Local Sweden

History dies deep in the woods: The forgotten Nazi concentration camp survivors in the forests of Småland

History has a way of being forgotten, whether by accident or design, especially when it’s painful. Histories with straightforward and happy endings make us feel good about ourselves and more hopeful about the outcome of our own uncertain times. Those that lack resolution or defy the need for an optimistic conclusion frequently exist in varying degrees of figurative darkness – ignored, neglected, forsaken. Sometimes, the darkness is also literal – a place so tucked away from view that the eyes of the collective consciousness barely need to look away to forget. Just such a place exists in Öreryd, Sweden, where a World War II refugee camp once stood. There, deep in the forests of Småland, the painful yet vitally-important history of 1,000 survivors of Nazi concentration camps has been left to die in the woods.
European Royal History Journal

Burglarly on the Links: Unraveling the Mystery of the Stolen Windsor Jewels

On the evening of October 16, 1946, jewels belonging to the Duchess of Windsor were stolen from an English mansion where the exiled couple was visiting. Ever since that day, the story has been told by many different sources with everything from very minor discrepancies to significant differences in important facts and details. Biographers and journalists have hypothesized and speculated over the incident, but until the release of the official police case file at the National Archives at Kew in late 2003, details as critical as what pieces of jewelry were stolen have been unknown to all who have written on the subject. This article was one of the first to analyze that case file in depth.

Stirling, Borthwick and Lochleven: The Scottish Haunts of Mary, Queen of Scots

As in England, where the number of historical establishments that claim, "Queen Victoria slept here," is legion, the same holds true in Scotland for Mary, Queen of Scots. In her relatively brief 45 years of life, Mary seems to have spent at least one night in just about every castle of note in Scotland. Between everyday living at her royal residences, numerous Scottish progressions, various attempts to escape a multitude of threats, and the early years of her imprisonment, she went from what we know today as familiar Scottish landmarks like Edinburgh Castle to near forgotten ruins like Spynie Palace in the Moray region of eastern Scotland. But if you think the Queen of Scots was busy in life, wait until you hear all the places she's reportedly "visited" in the afterlife.
The Local Sweden

The integration tool you probably aren't using in Sweden

For immigrants in Sweden, it can feel at times like the normal daily routine offers precious few opportunities for cultural and historical immersion. This is doubly true for those raising a family. Between acclimating to new ways of doing things, learning the language, working and/or studying, setting up and maintaining a home, caring for children and prioritizing their needs, trying to squeeze in time with a partner, and maybe actually having a social life, it's no surprise that our knowledge of Swedish culture and history often goes woefully uncultivated.
History Writers Resist Trump

Lessons from the Nineteenth Century: Immigration, Xenophobia and an Inept President

Before Lady Liberty officially became “Mother of Exiles” in 1903 and subdued xenophobia with the help of her three dragons (sorry, wrong story, that was the Mother of Dragons), the tired and poor huddled masses arriving at America’s teeming shores were greeted less than enthusiastically by nineteenth century anti-immigration extremists. Creating a model that is now experiencing a renaissance, groups of mainly white, Protestant men calling themselves Nativists in honor of their “native” American heritage, and united in their belief that immigrants were taking their jobs, threatening democracy, and bent on imposing Papism, banded together to limit the rights of existing immigrants and slow the inflow of new immigrants.
A Bit of History

Countess Emilia Plater and the Perpetual Anomaly of the Woman Warrior

Joan of Arc, Countess Emilia Plater, Wonder Woman: Singular women placed on a pedestal, carefully arranged and served on a silver platter of inimitable exceptionalism, meant to be admired for their sacrifice, but not duplicated. These are the flawed foundations of the stories of “heroic” women that have helped insure that the concept of the women warrior remains an anomaly more akin to a fictional superhero than an accepted reality.
The Local Sweden

How I embraced Sweden's second-hand culture (and why you should, too)

"My children need the newest and best of everything," said someone who was not me. Don't get me wrong, my children are my precious angels whose needs I put before my own on a regular basis. They are also precious angels whose exuberant love of life means that almost nothing passes out of their possession in "gently used" condition. Which is why I have happily embraced Sweden's vibrant second-hand and upcycling market.
The Local Sweden

Why being an immigrant parent in Sweden is not for the faint of heart

As an immigrant parent, I am also something of an alchemist. I have transmuted two of the most simultaneously difficult and wonderful things I've ever done – parenting and living abroad – into one big, simultaneously difficult and wonderful thing. In the great alchemic tradition, my discovery is remarkable, but not entirely what I expected. Sometimes it seems like it might be pure gold. Other times, it is as unpredictable as primitive gunpowder.
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