The WW1 exhibition at Kiviks Museum, Sweden

23 May 2017 | Pamela Linden

Each year, Kiviks Museum tell what happened that year 100 years ago internationally, in Sweden and locally in the region. Sweden was a “neutral” country, but provoked the war time parties by signing particularly offensive trading deals with Germany, sending threatening messages to UK and France, shutting down light houses along the coast to prevent Entente ships from navigating, etc. Sweden also suffered very hard for its international policy and had among the worst war time crisis in the world of the “neutral” countries; civil war was near, people starved and two Swedish governments were forced to resign due to international pressure.

War victims transported through Sweden (by kind permission of Kiviks Museum)

Swedish home front soldiers (by kind permission of Kiviks Museum)

The 1917 exhibition in 2017 (May 17th to December 15th)

This year’s exhibition shows how the Swedish government policy, with Minister of State Mr. Hjalmar Hammarskjöld and Foreign Minister Mr. K.A. Wallenberg, had during its three years of provoking the Entente as well as the National Swedish Parliament come to a point of total break down. In March 1917 the government had to resign from office, however leaving the State in complete political chaos with no trustworthy alternatives for government. At the same time, the Swedish population hands over more than 600 000 individual signatures to support the government. The government’s and King’s official policy during three years had been to keep Sweden out of war, at all costs. And the costs were severe indeed, with threatening starvation amongst the poorest, underdimensioned rations that still couldn’t be filled and were far from enough to feed the craving hard working population, speculation and inflation, hunger demonstrations and riots, spreading ideas of revolution from Russia and Finland, speculations and agitations of war from both within Sweden and from foreign countries, and finally an international political scandal of great dimensions, leading to a second Swedish government resignation within six months

Sweden was a particularly provoking “neutral” state during WW1 “neutral” state during WW1 and was struck hard by its politics, both nationally and internationally. Visit Kiviks Museum website to find out more about the exhibition and  First World War Sweden.