The illustrations of Ilon Wikland’s 1995 book for children, Den lnga, lnga resan or “The long, long journey,” show a young blonde girl growing up in a dreamy village and spending her days picking wild berries until an awful war turns her childhood upside down and sends her family on a perilous voyage to the safety of the Swedish Archipelago.
For many Estonian Swedes, like Wikland, who was born in Tartu and lived in Haapsalu until her family fled the Soviet occupation of Estonia in 1944, this is their story. A story of a cherished life in a corner of northern Europe that they were forced to...
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