The day Stockholm was bombed by the Soviet Union

On the morning of February 23rd, 1944, daylight revealed the devastation of the aerial bombardment that had taken place overnight. Shocked city residents gathered to see and assess the damage, including the near-total destruction of the new open-air theatre, where a large crater had been left behind by a 100-kilogram bomb. With World War Two raging, it wasn't an uncommon sight, and images like these would seem almost ordinary for the time were it not for the fact that this was not a strategic Axis or Allied target city like London, Hamburg, or Nantes, but rather Stockholm in neutral Sweden.

How Stockholm is restoring dignity to the neglected graves of 100 Holocaust victims

In Stockholm's Northern Cemetery (Norra begravningsplatsen) is the large and well-maintained tomb of Count Folke Bernadotte, a member of the Swedish royal family whose role in negotiating the release and transport of some 21,000 prisoners of Nazi concentration camps to Sweden is well-documented. In the Jewish area of the cemetery not far away, lie the derelict and all-but-forgotten graves of 100 victims of the Holocaust. These were mostly very young women, who died not long after arriving i

The 19th Century Swedish Novel Missing from the Feminist Literary Canon

What Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin did for the abolition movement in the United States, Fredrika Bremer’s 1856 novel Hertha did for the women’s movement in Sweden. Bremer’s boldly feminist novel graphically illustrated women’s oppression under Sweden’s antediluvian laws, and prompted a heated public debate that contributed to emerging social and legal changes for women. It also inspired an arm of the Swedish women's movement that continues to advocate for women today.

'The most drunken country in Europe': Read this and you might like Systembolaget a whole lot better

Sweden's tempestuous relationship with liquor goes back more than 500 years and can make the country’s state-run alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget, seem like a nirvana. In fact, it wasn't too long ago that anyone wanting to purchase strong alcohol, such as liquor/spirits, in Sweden would have had to deal not only with an alcohol monopoly, but also with strict rationing.

'Folkhemmet' – how a revolutionary political idea changed Sweden for good

The concept of the People's Home – which embodied a political approach that was midway between Capitalism and Communism – drove Swedish economic, social and political policies for much of the 20th century. It helped transform Sweden from a country with major class inequalities that was struggling to meet new industrial demands into a modern nation consistently ranked among the best in the world. And while it is no longer the mainstay of Swedish political thought and identity, it still carries enormous significance today.
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#SwedishChristmas

A unique Advent calendar: Short articles I wrote about the history behind Swedish Christmas traditions, published every day on The Local Sweden between December 2 and December 24, 2018.

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