Yay! Mystery Readers Journal has a second special issue on Scandinavian Mysteries out. Check out that tempting table of contents.
Thanks to the kind permission of Janet Rudolph, who moonlights as a perpetual motion machine, I am reprinting an essay I contributed (also posted at Janet’s Mystery Fanfare blog).
Reparations: World War II in Scandinavian Fiction
Many readers’ perceptions of Scandinavia as a peaceful, socially-progressive region have been shaped by childhood history lessons. Sweden was neutral during World War II. Norwegians bravely resisted German occupation. Finland fought for its independence both from the Soviets and the Nazis. Danes followed their king’s example and wore yellow stars of David to show solidarity with Danish Jews. In fact, these stories are at best half-truths, patriotic narratives that helped Scandinavian countries recover their dignity as they established strong post-war societies.
The reality was messier. Sweden’s iron ore supported German munitions factories and enriched Swedes…
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