I was at first difficult to think of how I would write this
essay. The motivation was not on top, to write about war feels
pretty depressing. However, the word war I connect directly related to
suffering, injustice and senseless conflict. No war I know of has
led to something really good, and although the country has become larger after
conquests so doing not the people better for it. There seems to be merely
selfishness, self-assertion and power greed that starts and for war.
The people on earth have always been able to live with each other, not in total
peace, but without too much conflict. But when mixed different
peoples with different cultures, different ideas about how society should be governed, is
it is difficult to avoid clashes. Fear of the unknown and
the need to find scapegoats in society has led to racism,
Nazism and oppression. Man blames society's shortcomings in a minority.
Hitler is a man who managed to turn an incredibly large amount of people against
Jews. It was a minority in Germany and had no chance when
the people fell upon them. The same conflict but on a smaller scale here in
Sweden in the form of Nazi and racist organizations who blame our
country's high unemployment rate of immigrants. Not that I understand how they
think they should be able to reduce unemployment by mistreating
foreigners and destroy their houses, but that's their way of
thinking. Since it's actually proven that immigrants seeking jobs
is much harder to get it than a Swedish search for the same work. It
is just one of the inequalities that exist between immigrants and Swedes, and
it does not seem like anyone is doing anything about det.Under World War II tried to Sweden to remain neutral, but when we
let the Germans pass on our railways so broke the "neutrality". I
did not know much about what it really was in Sweden during the second
World War II, so I called my aunt to hear her talk about it.
She gave me much information as I have tried to summarize in the following
My mother grew up in a large family in the Torne Valley near the top of
Norrbotten. Sweden and Finland are separated where the Torne River, and the distance
between the countries is as short as you can see across to each other. Mother is
born long after the war years, but an older sister, my Aunt Inga, was ten
years now and have strong memories of those years. Aunt Inga was the
oldest in the family, which in addition to her consisted of six children.
Four siblings were born during the war years, so there were a large family that
support during a time when there was a shortage of many foods. Grandmother and
grandfather was a poor small farmers and often says no because she had
difficult to understand how they managed to have food on the table every day so everyone had to
enough to eat.
Sweden used ration cards for most of the food, the small coupons
gave the right to buy a certain amount of various foods. What she remembers
in particular, is how to save coupons for rice in order to buy rice
the Christmas porridge, it was great luck she says tearfully. Nothing could
been finer than the small cottage with pine boughs at the door and a light that
burning of the carbide (they had not kerosene, it was too expensive) and so the
large bowl filled to the brim with the porridge on this day. Then it was
easy to feel gratitude. My grandmother went around and beamed over to all
were gathered, but Grandpa was rarely at home this time, he was
voluntary employee air patrol (air defense) in the Swedish
side. Many times the family was worried when the Russians and Germans shot
on the Finnish side, they shot also against the Swedes (mistakenly said
it) and there quite close to the border was my grandfather.
Many people were evacuated from Finland to Sweden.
Cis No remember
that they came in long carts pulled by horses. The carriages were full of
women and children who only had with him a few things before they fled.
Although cows were evacuated from the border area, and they went bellowing, but quiet
after long carriages. The evacuated families could live in the villages on the
Swedish side. There were large poor families who of course opened his
door for the refugees. The food was brotherly and children had become
measured, but not always the adults.
There were many children from Finland who came without their parents for various
parts of Sweden to get away from the war. Many of the children came
precisely at the Torne Valley where they were received by families in which there was already
five to ten children in the cottages. Some of these children remained even when
the war was over. They had taken root in their new home and stayed there.
A strong memory of my aunt is from these years is from a
occasion when she and her grandmother was walking home along the village road. It was late
evening and quite dark. When the grandmother looked on the Finnish side,
stopped in the middle of a step, holding no and pointed to the sky. It was
giant flame, unimaginably large fire was burning near the border in
Finland. She says "we seemed to be nailed and grandmother told me: the
this moment you will cherish as an adult, my dear. This is Russia
and Germany who are struggling to gain control over parts of Finland and the
the destruction of the other so they burn down villages and destroy anything
is destructible. This is what people have to flee. They are the
the people we share our food with, they have lost everything, many have also
lost several relatives in the war. "
No Aunt says she was at night in his bed in the kitchen
listened to the adults' angry chatter about all the horrors the people of the neighboring
had to endure. It was whispered also deserters. Men who escaped from Finland
to Sweden and were in hiding in soil burrows to avoid being sent
back. There were severe penalties for those who deserted, and not
been involved in fighting for their country. Among the families of the Swedish
page helped you even deserters. They were always afraid, so they slept
"With one eye open," afraid to be extradited and punished. They were
work on the farms and help with heavy chores, it was needed so
many of the men in the village was called up in war.
It was hard times even several years after the war ended in 1945.
poor and much that was neglected in the courtyards. None remember the great
news a few years after the war when it was decided that families with children
would receive child support. "It came as a godsend she says. Not
there were many crowns, but they were needed so badly well. "
My grandmother had 20 children during his life, ten boys and ten girls.
lived during the time when much changed and improved in Sweden.
She got to experience good days that was not only a struggle against hunger. She
also got to experience great technological inventions, and even watch TV
pictures of when man landed on the moon. None of that concerned
grandmother as strong as the gratitude that we have, and so far have had
peace in Sweden. She never forgot the years when we were affected as much solid
we had no war in Sweden, but it raged in the countries around us.
Man will always be obliged to share the planet with each other and
Total equity and justice will almost certainly never
appear, but what we can do for others, we also do to
reducing the gaps between the U and I-land. And you have to increase visitation
between different cultures in order to increase understanding of each other, because in these
times of war it is impossible not to mix different kinds of people. It will
probably remain an impossibility in the future, so by increasing the knowledge of
each other, reducing the gaps between different ethnic groups and thus,
I think, oppression and fear of other races. Several have been racists
friends who are foreigners, but they see them as people and not as a
"Different kind" and a comment I often heard is, for example: Well, I would
Never dial "Azgan", he's different, he's my friend!
An unusually stupid expression which too often occur. They have thus
not understood that all other immigrants and blacks, also has a
family, a home and especially feelings like any other people.
Recognition of this might change their perception of these
I realize how much I talked about racism and Nazism, but it is the cause
to many conflicts, this xenophobia, so I often link
them to the war. And man is the power of greed, but it takes its
expressed in many different ways. You do not start a world war
feeling of power. It is enough to cut my sister's socks!