1918 - The impact of WW1 to Swedish and European identity and cooperation history during the 20th century

The Museum of Kivik
Community engagement, Cross-frontier collaboration
Intangible, Tangible
  • Share this story:

How can we understand a neutral country's modern history and identity through the perspectives of WW1 as the overall turningpoint in modern society? How can the formation process of modern understanding and cooperation also be understood in neutral Sweden as its origins lays in the trenches of WW1?

The project aims to discuss the common picture of Sweden's identity as a neutral country during WW1. Recent research shows that Sweden was not so innocent, and that Swedish foreign policy during the war actually put the country at the brink of riots and civil war - as well as war! Sweden was home to espionage from both war parties, and to German war correspondence by telegram throughout the war. This Swedish war time identity is not commonly known to either natives or to Europeans. The project thus aims to discuss the costs WW1 to a neutral country as Sweden, resulting in a national political crisis with two resigning governments and an international political scandal. The common picture of Sweden as the neutral conflict mender is revised, both to the native audience and to the European, through two exhibitions, two books and a series of lectures. The project has been accredited by the Swedish National Heritage Board as part of the European Year of cultural heritage 2018. The project discusses history and our understanding of identity through the perspective of the Great War as the overall turning point of the 20th Century. Through our international network of researchers, we aim to discuss history and identity breakthroughs during 1914-1919 with museums in Great Britain, France, Germany and Belgium. The project is led by professional historians from the museum board and is unique as it discusses a neutral country's identity processes alongside WW1, which has never been done.

European Dimension

All of the above mentioned definitions of the shared history of Europe are applicable to our specific story and project, as the story originates from the identity process of modern Europe, the peace process and formation of the European Union and the role of heritage to our modern way of life, as defined by the results of The Great War. This project is not a story of Sweden alone, this is the story of how the 1914-19 events formed the modern world at all, and how we all have a part and a history that originates from the War to end all wars. This is the story of becoming the modern Europe, built on cooperation and peace.

Similar stories

historical figures DVD

The DVD “Talking Cyprus” is a project we hope to bring to fruition by the end of June 2018. The theme of personalities telling their stories and a journalist of today making comparisons with events and situations of the 21st century Cyprus, will bring out the good and bad of our past, to be and not to be repeated in our future! The filming will involve an interactive series of events where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work together and create together in their own languages and in English. 


Community engagement, Diversity, Education, Cross-frontier collaboration, Youth oriented

Read More
Old Town Bedem-Bedem fest

Bedem fest, relying on enthusiasm and volunteerism  is a local, regional and international manifestation. Cultural heritage, interculturality, cross-frontier cooperation, vulnerabile groups, youth, volunteerism, are messages that we send from year to year to the general public. Bedem fest is especially responsible for the inclusion of the entire local community on the revival of cultural life in Niksic with the emphasis on the protection, preservation and valorization of the Old town of Bedem.


Community engagement, Diversity, Education, Cross-frontier collaboration, Youth oriented

Read More

Old historical towns along the Adriatic coast are mostly stone-made. The paving is simple, stone-made, yet gives the city a personality, glow and a charm. Palaces are most likely maintained, even guarded, while the paving is not - although the stone is a symbol that gives the city a colour in all its pre-eminence. Stone pavings are unique and unrepeatable, therefore we must maintain and restore them. The stone is a part of the past, therefore we want to pave it’s way to the future.


Community engagement, Diversity, Education, Cross-frontier collaboration, Youth oriented

Read More