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The Swedish Emigrant InstituteThe Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö

Some days off work.... Last week (June 7-10), we went to the house we always have wanted to visit. The house is the The Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö, also called "The House of Emigrants".

The house is located in Växjö on one side of the big lake, Lake Växjö. The flags from different countries swinged calm outside the entrance and to the right, as a matter of fact a head was placed on a pillar. It is a statue of the head of the famous author Wilhelm Moberg.

Summer and hot

The day we were there, the sun was shining and it was hot and nice. Several persons sat by tha lake in the sun and enjoyed their first icecream from SIA. Then we enter the house ...inside... to look around. (what wont you do for the emigration and geneaology.)

We put on our sweater above our shoulders and paid the entrance fee (40 SEK, approx 6 US$) and unfold our map of the different exhibitions. Good luck that the receptionist showed us were to start.


Listening to an intevju with Swedish emigrants.We started with the exhibition about emigration. In this room we found everything! Dolls, display cases, stuff, stories, pictures, maps, a street from the US, telephones (to listen to interviews with emigrated Swedes in the US, could even be listened in different languages).

The different stories included answers on the questions, as for example...why did we emigrate, how many, when, from which harbour and on which ship did they leave, what happened in the US, where did they go in the US, well known Swedes, Swedish fate, Swedish newspapers, Swedish organisations etc.


After a whole lot of reading and contemplation of information we had to go back to the café (that are located just beside the entrance, were you pay), We needed coffee guickly! You feel peckish after reading a lot of information. What a tasty sandwich we got and during our break we heard som people from the US at the table beside us. Nice!

We asked the receptionist if there are many visitors from the US, yes she answered, mostly between June-Aug. Most of them come here to do research in the research room on the second floor. (This time we were not here to research, just to be here to enjoy the exhibtion, but we saw the stairs up to the room and all the persons who disappeared up the stairs.)

After the tasty sandwich we went back to the exhibition and listen to some of the emigrants i their "cool" telephones. Wonderful people and which fate some of them have gone through. We shall never again complain about little things in our lives! There we rattlesnakes everywhere in the dirt when a family should settle down, indians were hiding at the corner of the house, white bottom sheet you couldn´t expect.. those were full of lice etc.


After the emigration room we came to the exhibition about Titanic. The ship had 2 227 passengers who sailed and went under in the Atlantic Sea on its way to the US on April 15, 1912. In this room we found pictures, texts, things etc. On one of the walls they had documented all Swedes who died. Remember that one Swede travelled in first class, three in second class and the rest in third class....

One family had given a letter and also some items from one deceased person from Titanic. His watch was in one of the display cases and it had stopped at 02.40, twenty minutes after the ship went down to the bottom. At 02.17 the stern stood upright in the water and at 02.20 it sank. Of 2 227 passangers 1 522 persons died. In one of the "telephones" we could also listen to a Swedes touching story, after that the "Carpatia" had taken care of her as one of the survivors. A very touching story.

Vilhelm Moberg

Vilhelm MobergThe next exhibition room was about our famous writer Wilhelm Moberg. You know he who wrote: Emigrants, Immigrants, The Settlers, Last Letter home to Sweden etc. We can say that we didn´t read everything in Wilhems room (even though they have made it cosy, with a copy of one of his desks), we started to get a little bit tired in our legs and eyes of all our reading and we also thought we have seen the things we came for.

We can also add that we read that Wilhelm Moberg had done careful investigation both in the US and Sweden before he wrote his novels about "emigration". He corresponded with americans and also went to the US by himself to perform studies. He also had relativies in the US.

Shop til you drop

After our visit we couldn´t just leave the "house" without bying more stuff. Beside the entrance there are a little shop, with books, cards and souverniers etc. We bought a par of books and also some wall charts of some of the ships who transfered the emigrants to the US.

We only say a big THANK YOU to that this house exists, we also recommend you all to visit if you pass this way through the forest of Småland.

On our way back to Goteborg we also visited more fantastic places, like "Kristinas Duvemåla" (The place were Kristina came from, in the musical written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulveus, famous from ABBA, who have been playing in Sweden), the place were they filmed the movie "Emigrants" (in Ljuder area), the childhodd home of Carl von Linné etc. But that is another story.

The Swedish Emigrant InstituteThe Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö

Vilhelm Mobergs gata 4
Tel. 0470-201 20

Find the way - map (pdf) - zoom in on Centrum »

Website - The Swedish Emigrant Institute »

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