The Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö
Some days off work.... Last week (June 7-10), we went to the house we
wanted to visit. The house is the The Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö,
"The House of Emigrants".
The house is located in Växjö on one side of the big lake, Lake Växjö. The
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
sat by tha lake in the sun and enjoyed their first icecream from SIA. Then
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
showed us were to start.
We started with the exhibition about emigration. In this room we found
Dolls, display cases, stuff, stories, pictures, maps, a street from the US,
(to listen to interviews with emigrated Swedes in the US, could even be
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,
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
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.
We asked the receptionist if there are many visitors from the US, yes she
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
enjoy the exhibtion, but we saw the stairs up to the room and all the persons
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
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
After the emigration room we came to the exhibition about Titanic. The ship
2 227 passengers who sailed and went under in the Atlantic Sea on its way to the
April 15, 1912. In this room we found pictures, texts, things etc. On one of
they had documented all Swedes who died. Remember that one Swede travelled
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
His watch was in one of the display cases and it had stopped at 02.40,
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
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.
The next exhibition room was about our famous writer Wilhelm Moberg. You know he
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
americans and also went to the US by himself to perform studies. He also had
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
We bought a par of books and also some wall charts of some of the ships who
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
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.