Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Swedish tiger

This cute creature was created in 1941 and was part of a vigilance propaganda campaign in Sweden. The slogan "En svensk tiger" is a pun. Tiger is tiger in Swedish as well, but it can also mean "to keep silent", meaning that a Swede don't blab secrets to strangers.

The designer was Bertil Almqvist and in Sweden he is also well known for a series of children books, mainly written in the late 40's-50's, about a Stoneage family who travels around the world, for example Egypt, USA and Britain. They even travel to the moon and Mars!


esther said...

Hej, har jag kommit till ens svensk bloggare?
Hälsningar fraan Barcelona, fom nu följer jag dig!


Anonymous said...

Den är för härlig. :)

Jag fick plötsligt lust att brodera den på en liten scarfs eller lite diskret på nederkanten av en blus. Delvis för att den är väldigt stilig, delvis för att svenskar är stereotypt lite "kalla" och som utlandssvensk är det en lite lustig påminnelse om det (om dock med ett mycket allvarligare förflutet).

Lisette said...

That would make a pretty cool embroidery design!

Lithia Black said...

Oh, I didn't know that the author of "Barna Hedenhös" had made the swedish tiger. I adored the books as a kid and I like the tiger a lot :)

Erika said...

It's a very cool image! However, I have been given a different interpertation of what one keeps silent about; I thought this was primarily used in areas German soldiers passed through and the tiger was a request to the swedish population to not grumble about the german presence nor complain about their actiosn and so on, so the germans wouldn't be provoked and go from so called "friends" to the outright enemies most Swedes considered them to be.

Or maybe that's what you meant as well? I read your understanding of the tiger as a request to the population to not give away any information to the germans (like hidden norwegians, jews, communists etc). I very much prefer that meaning of the tiger to the one I was taught in school =)

Isis said...

esther: Ja, det har du, även om jag skriver på engelska. :)

Emma: Ja, den skulle göra sig bra som broderi- det har jag aldrig tänkt på tidigare! Gör de det så måste du visa en bild sedan!

Isis said...

Lisette: Indeed! I never thought about that before, but Emma who commneted above jsut said teh same in Swedish. :)

Lithia: I must confess to now knowing that until I gooled it. :)

Isis said...

Erika: No, I meant that Swedes should keep quiet with foreigners around. And I do believe that is the original meaning for it. But "Verksamhetskampanjen" which the tiger was part of, was started as a mean to keep Sweden neutral, which of course did mean that one shouldn't talk about things that could threaten that neautrality. And moaning about Germans would probably be considered part of that. But I think that it's easy to forget that at the time Sweden could have been invaded by Sovjet and England too and the vigilance campaign must have been meant to keep mum about all foreigners.

I'm not sure that most Swedes really saw Germany as the biggest threat, even if many did. Traditionally and culturally the bonds to Germany have been much stronger than to other European countries, even if that changed after the war. While Sovjet, or rather Russia, had been considered the enemy for centuries. I am not completely certain of this though. I probably should read up some more. :)

Jessica Cangiano said...

What an interesting factoid, I love learning about things like this (WW2 history has always been something that I've been tremendously interested), and appreciate that you shared about the history behind this cute tiger with us.

♥ Jessica


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