- Ett folk är i fara - Du kan hjälpa - Nationalinsamlingen för Finland Eng - "A people is in danger - you can help - National collection for Finland"
- Swedish WWII poster
- Year: 1939
- Artist: Carl Herman Runnström
History of the poster
Swedish propaganda poster from 1939. The poster reach out to the Swedish people to join and help its eastern neighbor against the Soviet enemy during the The Winter War in Finland. Finland was overwhelmed by the Soviet forces with its sheer number of units and equipment, and the situation was considered critical.
The man on the Propaganda poster represents the acclaimed Georg Carl von Döbeln i> which was an old Swedish war hero from the Finnish War 1808 - 1809 with great notoriety in Finland and Sweden both.
Von Döbeln had an old head injury from the battle of Porrossalmi 1789 (Gustav III's war) which he concealed with a black silk headband. The damage was caused by a Russian bullet in the forehead and even after several years after the incident it was said that one could pick bone pieces from the wound.
Döbeln was also wounded in the naval battle of Cuddalore in India in the 1780s between the British and the French Navy. Actually, he supposed to serve in the American War under French leadership, but the ship for North America instead got changed orders and turned its course towards India.
After this Indian adventure von Döbeln returned to Sweden to serve with the Swedish army. He participated as an officer in many of the battles and skirmishes of the Finnish war eg; Viiret, Siikajoki Pyhäjoki Uusikaarlepyy, Yppäri, Lahintalo.
His greatest achievements however, was in the battles of Lapua, Jutas and Kauhajoki. In these confrontations, leading the brave Finnish "Björneborg" troops, he managed to cause the Russian enemy severe losses. At the end of the campaign, he received the Order of the large cross w. swords and promotion to Major General.
Later von Döbeln commanded the defense of the Åland Islands, but was later forced to leave the islands to Russian ownership, but without significant losses. He also negotiated the Convention on the Åland Islands, which resulted in that neither Sweden or Russia were allowed to place troops on the Åland Islands in exchange for the Russians to withdraw troops who threatened Stockholm.
During the Second Napoleonic war von Döbeln was sentenced to death by martial law after violating the master's orders during a battle against the French. The Swedish King Karl XIV Johan, however, found the punishment highly inappropriate for such a war hero and softened this down to a year in prison on Vaxholm Citadel. His honor was saved and he was also given the opportunity to move freely and live normally in the citadel during this sentence.
During his time in office, even after the prison sentence, he was acclaimed as a national hero. As the years passed he slipped into oblivion and he lived relatively poorly at Lilla Tradgardsgatan in Stockholm with his wife Kristina Karolina Ullström.
His exploits became famous later, in Johan Ludvig Runeberg's epic poem "Tales of ensign Stål" where the hero poem "Döbeln of Jutas" depicts him in the Battle of Jutas. This poem has also given rise to the Swedish & Finnish term "Döbeln Medicine."
One can understand why they alluded to this hero of the Swedish propaganda during the Winter War. Once again, the Swedes would fight for Finland in the east!
Von Döbeln is buried in the cemetery at St. John's Church on Dobelnsgatan in central Stockholm.
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