This blog is about the history of the Elg family, originating in Säfsnäs county, Sweden (note that there are several unrelated Elg families from Sweden). It is a complement to the family history website at http://web.telia.com/~u85435856/ , I intend to post new information - and questions - here, where you can get access to it before I have time to update the website.
A self-portrait of
my father, Carl Erik Elg, from 1941. I guessed that he was reading Life
Magazine, and by comparing this image to the online version of Life at Google
Books, I was able to determine that this is indeed their May 19, 1941 issue.
The article on the right hand page is about the technology of incendiary bombs,
published under the “Science” heading.
There are a number
of things which are remarkable about this picture. Having a color slide from
1941 is interesting in itself. But this photo is also taken in Sweden, during
some of the darkest days of the second world war. In May 1941, Britain stood
alone in fighting the Nazi regime. The European continent was under German
occupation. It is still half a year until Pearl Harbor, and Russia is still allied
to Germany through the Molotov – Ribbentrop agreement. Sweden is neutral, but
to the west and south Norway and Denmark have been occupied by the Germans for
more than a year, and to our east, the Finns are trying to recover from the
1939-1940 “winter war” against Russia. International trade is very limited by
My father was very
interested in international affairs, and a subscriber to Life until it ceased
publishing. But how did Life magazine make its way to Sweden at this time? One
story I seem to recall is that printing plates were flown to Sweden and the
magazine printed locally, as part of the “information war” for hearts and
minds, but this is half a year before the US joined the war? And in that case,
would they have bothered making full color prints of advertising directed to
the American market (they did later print a special version which was
distributed to US forces overseas, but this did not include advertising)?