Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al

We will remember them

They don't have Remembrance Day in Sweden. This makes perfect sense, since Sweden wasn't involved in either of the World Wars. But it's odd to come into November and not see any poppies.

Just like it's odd to go to villages with no war memorial in the centre, and it's odd to have to consciously break the assumption that people of my grandparents' generation will have service experiences. The phrase "in the war" has almost no referent here. I'm living in a society that didn't lose huge swathes of the entire male population in two successive generations. There was no baby boom here, but rather an economic boom when the rest of Europe was crippled in the post-war period and Sweden wasn't (that was the time when Sweden became a nation of immigrants, because the sudden expansion of industry created a huge labour shortage).

The Jewish community remember the war, WW2 at least, but for them the war is tangled with Nazism and the Holocaust. This week we marked the anniversary of Kristallnacht; there are proportionally more people here who were personally affected than in England, I think. Those who were already in Sweden by the 30s remember what it was like with Occupied Norway on one border, and Axis Finland on the other, and Occupied Denmark just across the water. And the Swedish government allowing the German trains to travel through their supposedly neutral country, and the general atmosphere of relative sympathy for the Nazis (did anti-Communism or anti-Semitism come first? It's hard to say.) But none of that is the stuff I'm accustomed to remembering on this date.

Facebook and LJ reminded me of the date, and having been reminded, made me feel I wasn't remembering on my own. So I am adding my post to what seems like a kind of virtual ceremony.
Tags: anniversary

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