Sunday, January 9, 2011

Linkoping. Swedish Air Force Museum. Flygvapenmuseum Malmen. Neutrality With Arms


Swedish Air Force Museum.  Flygvapen. Western outskirts of Linkoping. A flier-admirer's heaven. The best part of autonomous travel is going anywhere anytime, getting out anywhere anytime, and a fast morph from medieval history to modern. And finding that languages can be navigated. You can figure a lot of it out.
First, Linguistics. Just listen to flygvapen.

Hear it in your mind. Flygvapen. Now act it. Flap your arms and say it.  Flygvapen. There you have it. Onomatopoeia.  Words that sound their meaning. See ://  Languages are windows, and concerts for the ear.

Second, Content.

This is a fine military museum, with 130 planes overhead and in huge hangars and set up outside; and a cultural museum, laying out the context in which they flew.  Absorb times gone by -- exhibits like theater sets, staged scenes showing the periods when events here happened, artifacts, uniforms, documents, planes hung up there everywhere, climb up the mobile metal staircases and look right in. Wander, peer, imagine. Air defense. New. Need for defense. Old. Attack capability. Part of defense.

And ongoing need? Must we always.

Then ask, is there any human-being difference between

a) these three little piggies (Winston, Franklin and Josef), their religious and other counterparts; and their influence over their times; and motivations; and political this and that, hyped-up citizens, persuaded that they are right, attacking each other and others, with invasions and atrocities; and

b) the three little piggies of medieval and reformation times -- popes, luthers, rulers, hyped-up citizens, persuaded that they are right, attacking each other and others, and secular and religious invasions and atrocities.

Probably not.  

Here, the emphasis is on Swedish-Soviet relations, as is natural when countries are physically so close and one is so huge with tentacles, and the other is just across the water. Sweden is a strong nation, strong military history of its own, but its proximity to Germany and Russia both, spurs some nerves. They are nearly family:  it was the Swedish adventurers who went gliding in their longboats down the Eastern European rivers, raiding, settling, establishing cities, all the way to Baghdad. The Swedish vikings, the Rus, did they kickstart Russia? No wonder the interest.  See Vikings in Russia at :// 

Ruud Leeuw has fine photos of the complex, showing the changes from 1910 onwards-- see ://

Interested in specific kinds of planes? A military maven?

Meet Bjorn.  And his site. See the J35 Dragon, a fighter, and the Saab J29, join Bjorn at ://  Saab - come back! We like our Saab car, and the dashboard does look like a cockpit, in ways -- airplane roots. That's what Saab did, until cars joined in. How about the Saab J28 Vampire! Even a pacifist gets adrenalin going at these babies. Sleek. Just the design, not the purpose. A35 Lance. JAS 37 Viggen. See Bjorn's site.

The reality of wreckage.

Need to double check the fused glass.  This was a floor-level and below-floor exhibit.

The neutrality puzzle:  how does neutrality work. 

Is it neutral, why choose it if issues of atrocity to others seem so clear (what obligation do any of us have to others), and does neutrality "enable" ongoing abuse, see :// was it the best choice for the constituents of that country; nor no choice.  International law provides for different kinds of neutrality.  Neutral nations in WWII: 
  • The Vatican (its own entity) supposedly, it just stood by; 
  • Sweden, 
  • Portugal, 
  • Spain, emerging after its own civil war; and 
  • Switzerland as a conditional neutral in WWI, supposedly using economic sanctions (except for giving out keys to the gnomes' caves under Zurich); and an "integral" neutral, completely neutral supposedly, in WWII -- still more keys to the gnomes' caves, however, still being unearthed. See Co-Opting Nazi Germany at ://  That article articulates the self-interest concept.  Self-interested neutrality. Scholarly snippet:  read  Phases in Swedish Neutrality, by Joachim Joesten from Foreign Affairs vol 23, at least the little bit that JSTOR will let you see for free at
 Neutrality -- did it mean survival after all. Neutrality did not mean isolation:  the bodies washed up, see graves of WWI Battle of Jutland navy personnel at Goteborg, and other places where the pilots tumbled from the sky, the intrigues lurked. History.  See book, The Social Construction of Swedish Neutrality, by Christine Agius 2006 at ://

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Linkoping - Vreta Kloster's Cloister

Vreta Cloister (Kloster) near Linkoping, at Berg
And the Church at the Monastery (Nunnery?)
Kings Inside

The old arbors and orchards still bear blossoms, and fruit.

Vreta is one of the oldest monasteries in Sweden, founded by King Inge I and Queen Helena in about 1100.  See ://

That is the church guide getting a nice sour apple from one of the trees believed to be from Reformation time, would you believe, centuries old and still bearing. One stalwart branch out there. Tasty, but pucker sour.

The Church at Vreta Kloster was obviously remodeled at some point.  See the difference in the square steeple on the model, and the newer steeple at top.

This below-ground level areas is a Baptisterium.  Many carvings in Scandinavia and Northern Germanyshow persons being baptized in the nude. Perhaps the low level of the pool offered some privacy, although the representatons are not of persons descending steps. Germany Road Ways, Altarpiece, Church at Enger, Baptism

Medieval baptism pools, below ground, are often undiscovered.

Graffiti has also been found on/in buildings at Vreta, now in museums, see ://