In the Name of Goodness – Københavns Universitet

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In the Name of Goodness

Forgotten emotions and breakup of family-ties. Finnish children in Sweden during WWII

During WWII approximately 70,000 children were moved to Sweden from Finland to protect them from the calamities of war. In this lecture, Ann Nehlin suggests that the children were used tolegitimize a Swedish foreign policy position aimed at conveying an image of Sweden as a provider of goodness.

The need of the Swedish state and Swedish families to produce goodness overshadowed the emotional needs of the children and their parents.

For Finnish parents this meant suppressing their emotions for their children and send them to Sweden.

For Swedish families this meant that they were expected to provide for the children’s physical needs. That they would start caring for the children emotionally was not taken into account and later this turned out to be problematic.

Ann Nehlin, dr.phil., is a researcher at the Department of History at Stockholm University.

Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.