Some Significant Swedes

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Swedish Vikings in England! Amongst the Danish Vikings who took part In the ralds on England and then traded
and settled as farmers in the east and south of England were some from what is now Sweden. The evidence for

this has been found on a runic stone now in Uppsala but from the 2″ half of the 10’“ century.

King Erik XIV (1560-68) sought the hand of the famous Queen Elizabeth but he was rejectedl
Olof Rudbock (1630-1702). A leading natural scientist, historian and discoverer of the human lymphatic system.

Anders Celsius (1701-1744). Astronomer and mathematician. Invented and gave his name to the loo—degree
thermometer scale. Established Sweden’s first astronomical observatory at Uppsala.

Carl van Linna’ or Linnaeus (170748). ereat botanist and physician. Developed the theories of plants reproducing
sexually, like animals. This was the basis of his great work 5peczes Planetarium, the classification of 8,000
plants. Top left picture of Linnaeus memorial in Stenbrohult churchyard near his former home at Rashult.

Jenny Lind (1820—87). Renowned opera singer. Known as the Swedish nightingale. Delighted UK audiences when
she sang In churches, in oratorlns and for Queen Victoria. The only Swedish artiste honoured by the British. Has
a plaque in Poet: Corner of Westminster Abbey next to Handel.

Astrid Lindgren (1907 – 2002), Widely translated children‘s writer. The famous Pippi
Longstocking stories began as stories told to her child Karin when she was ill. Later
she wrote them down and in 1945 won a publisher‘s children‘s book competition with a
revised manuscript. A prolific career began with a massive and impressive output of
stories, picture books, songs and plays. Lindgren’s books have been translated into over
50 languages. Astrid won many awards and honours around the world.

Carl Larson and his wifl Karin lived for many years at Lilla Hyttnds (top right) in the pretty village of

Sundbarn in Dalar’na province, 13km from Falun. As much loved artists in the early part of the 20’“ century they
became known as the creators of the ”Swedish Style”. This is a merge of the specifically Swedish with a blend
of the rustic, Gustavlan and Art Nouveau in Carl‘s water colours collected in his picture books, the painted
furniture, the tapestries and embroidery of Karin light cotton and their informal and very nunsbourgeuls style in
their home. Carl‘s paintings were much influenced by the local Dalarna folk-art tradition. The painting to the left
below is the famous “Flower Window/flowers on the window sill” or Blamfler Fo’nflr’er.

A 3 month long exhibition “Creators of the Swedish Style” at the Victoria and Albert Museum brought the
fascination of the Larssnns’ artistry to London in late 1997 and early 1998.

Raoul Wallnnbarg. A member of a great industrial and banking family. Was instrumental in rescuing Hungarian
Jews from the SS having persuaded the Swedish government to give him diplomatic status as First Secretary of
the Swedish Legation in Budapest in 1944. Two-thirds of the Jewish population ha already been transported to
camps when he arrived. After he began his dangerous mission many thousands of Jews in Hungary were sheltered
in safe “neutral houses” that flew the Swedish flag. They were fed and clothed by Wallenberg and his
organisation. Wallenberg used bribery, threats and blackmail to enable survival for many thousands – said to be
as many as 100,000. After the liberation by Soviet troops of Budapest in 1945 they arrested him as a suspected
spy. He then disappeared and was litter reported to have died in a Moscow prison in 1947. However as late as
1975 unconfirmed reports said that he was still in a Soviet prison. In 1989 some surviving relatives went to
Moscow to try to discover the real truth of his fate.

Dog Hommorslq’old. His 1953 election as Secretary6eneral of the United Nations gave Sweden greater
international moral respect. The UN’s effectiveness and reputation was enhanced by his strong leadership. It
took part in the solution to the 1956 Suez Crisis and the 1958 Lebanon»Jordan affalr. He was killed in an air
crash in 1961 as he neared the end of his second 5 year term of office.

Erik Wallcnbarg invented the Tetra Pak food storage system, which was developed in l95l. It and a successor
Tetra Brlk are now in use worldwide for storing fruit Juice and milk.

ABBA. Perhaps one of Sweden’s best known exports. Winners of the Eurovlslon song

contest1974 wtth ‘Waterloo‘. ABBA is an acronym of the names of the quartet,

Agnetha, 3 10M, Benny, Anna-Frld. A combination of their wholesome image, well

constructed pop songs and strong melodies led to them taking the world by storm.

After ‘Waterloo’ they went from success to success. Hit after hit; world tour: a film.

“The music still goes on”, according to the words of one at their songs and it is true. There have been many AlzBA
tribute bands in the pastten years. “Thank you for the music”. There are many ABBA websites. Try
www.abbasite.com

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