Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization

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Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization
Riksförbundet Sveriges lottakårer
Lottastugan.jpg
The Lottastugan(Lotta's Cottage) in the community park in Varberg. Notice the SLK emblem across the door.
Founded1924; 96 years ago (1924)
CountrySweden Sweden
Size5,000
Garrison/HQStockholm
Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization with Finnish war children during World War II
Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization museum exhibition

The Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization[a] (Swedish: Riksförbundet Sveriges lottakårer, commonly known as Lottorna) is an auxiliary defence organization of the Swedish Home Guard, a part of the Swedish Armed Forces.

Organisation[edit]

The organization currently consists of approximately 5,000 women of all ages throughout Sweden. Svenska Lottakåren's purpose is to recruit and educate women for tasks in the Swedish total defense, and to conduct comprehensive defense training. Lottorna works in both the Armed Forces and in Civilian Emergency Preparedness. The organization is politically neutral, and is one of the country's largest female networks.

History[edit]

It was created in 1924 inspired by the Finnish women's auxiliary organization, Lotta Svärd founded in 1920. The name comes from a poem by Johan Ludvig Runeberg, about a fictional woman named Lotta Svärd who took care of wounded soldiers during the Finnish War.

The founder and the organization's first chairman was Tyra Wadner. The organization began as part of the then Landstorms movement (then named Sveriges Landstormskvinnor) but became an independent organization in 1942.

In 1936 rules were laid down that regulated Lottorna's activities in peacetime and wartime. In peacetime, the activities would be concentrated in four areas:

  • Collection of funds for the Landstorms movement
  • Provide service at Landstorm's mens exercises
  • Training of their own members
  • Teaching work to "raise fatherland and homeland patriotic feeling and strengthen the nation's defense".

During the war, the Lottorna instead had to undertake various forms of assistance for defense in the homeland, especially during mobilization.[3] The lots were divided into army, navy and airfields.

During World War II, the organization received many new duties and the number of members increased. By the end of the war, the organization had more than 110,000 members, which meant that about five percent of women in the country over 15 years were part of Lottorna.[4]

Heads[edit]

  • 1924–1931: Tyra Wadner
  • 1931–1945: Maja Schmidt
  • 1945–1959: Märta Stenbeck
  • 1959–1966: Ingrid Norlander
  • 1966–1974: Louise Ulfhielm
  • 1974–1978: Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister
  • 1978–1986: Christine Malmström Barke
  • 1986–1994: Marianne af Malmborg
  • 1994–2002: Nini Engstrand
  • 2002–2008: Elisabeth Falkemo
  • 2008–2014: Annette Rihagen
  • 2014–2018: Barbro Isaksson
  • 2018–present: Heléne Rådemar

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Official name according to their own website.[1] Also translated as the National Federation of Swedish Women’s Auxiliary Defence.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Svenska Lottakåren in English". Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  2. ^ Gullberg, Ingvar E. (1977). Svensk-engelsk fackordbok för näringsliv, förvaltning, undervisning och forskning [A Swedish-English dictionary of technical terms used in business, industry, administration, education and research] (in Swedish) (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Norstedt. p. 741. ISBN 91-1-775052-0. SELIBR 8345587.
  3. ^ Sundevall, Fia (2011). Det sista manliga yrkesmonopolet: genus och militärt arbete i Sverige 1865-1989 [The last male occupational monopoly: gender and military work in Sweden 1865-1989] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Makadam. p. 53-54. ISBN 978-91-7061-090-5.
  4. ^ Sundevall, Fia (2011). Det sista manliga yrkesmonopolet: genus och militärt arbete i Sverige 1865-1989 [The last male occupational monopoly: gender and military work in Sweden 1865-1989] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Makadam. p. 58. ISBN 978-91-7061-090-5.

External links[edit]