2008

AN Biographies


100 berühmte Franken [100 Famous Franconians]. Ada Stützel. Erfurt: Sutton, 2007. 126 p. ill. 26 cm. ISBN 978-3-86680-118-9: EUR 19.90 [08-1/2-027]

100 berühmte Niederösterreiche [100 Famous Lower Austrians]. Klaus Schlick. Erfurt: Sutton, 2007. 126 p. ill. 26 cm. ISBN 978-3-86680-287-2: EUR 19.45 [08-1/2-028]

100 berühmte Schwaben [100 Famous Swabians]. Eckart Schörle. Erfurt: Sutton, 2008. 126 p. ill. 26 cm. ISBN 978-3-86680-399-2: EUR 19.90 [08-1/2-029]

100 berühmte Thüringer [100 Famous Thuringians]. Ada Stützel. Erfurt: Sutton, 2008. 125 p. ill. 26 cm. ISBN 978-3-86680-352-7: EUR 19.90 [08-1/2-030]

Each volume of this unnumbered series from Sutton Verlag, the popular publisher on regional history, includes 100 biographies of deceased well-known persons born or active in the named region. The entries are generally one page long, written in an approachable style, arranged in chronological order, and accompanied by a portrait. Although each volume includes an index, there is no bibliography for individual entries or the entire volume.

The criteria for inclusion are vague and subjective, and the geographical definitions assigned can be problematic (for example, Swabians should more rightly be designated as Württemberger, since the author considers those from Bavarian Swabia to have developed a separate regional identity). This is not a title that research libraries need to acquire. [sh/rg]

Frauen im Exil [Women in Exile]. Ed. Siglinde Bolbecher for the Theodor-Kramer-Gesellschaft. Klagenfurt: Drava-Verlag, 2007. 311 p. ill. 20 cm. (Zwischenwelt: Jahrbuch für antifaschistische Literatur und Exilliteratur, 9). ISBN 978-3-85435-368-3: EUR 24.90 [08-1/2-031]

This title includes 18 partially reworked papers from the international conference Frauen im Exil held by the Theodor-Kramer-Gesellschaft [Theodor Kramer Society] in Vienna, Austria, in October 1995. Discussion focused on the persecution, flight, and exile of Austrian and German women beginning with the rise of National Socialism in 1933. Early research on exiles focused on men, especially literary authors; the first book on women exiles did not appear until 1984. This is significant, because the exile experience differed significantly for men and women. Women were more likely to go into exile than men and more likely to emigrate permanently; women’s accounts focus on their courage and resilience rather than fear and tend to be more detailed than those of men. The articles in this volume include individual biographies as well as overviews on a variety of themes, including the female characters of exiled male writers, gender discrimination endured by female exiles, motives for going into exile, the difficulties experienced by returned exiles, Jewish Austrian communists active in the French resistance, and a surprising report on Austrian immigrants to East Germany. The subjects were active in a variety of professions including art, literature, journalism, and science. Although there have now been many publications on female exiles, this one covers a broad range of themes and subjects and provides insight into the diversity and scope of the exile experience as well as the loss to humanity and knowledge that Germany and Austria experienced with the expulsion of mainly Jews and socialistminded people. [wub/rg]

Biografiskt lexikon för Finland [Biographical Encyclopedia of Finland]. Ed. Henrik Knif, Fredrik Hertzberg. Helsingfors: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland; Stockholm: Atlantis. ill. 26 cm. (Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland, 710).

Vol. 1. Svenska tiden [Swedish Era]. 2008. 776 p. ISBN 9789515831668; 9789173532631: EUR 75

Vol. 2. Ryska tiden [Russian Era]. 2010. 1048 p. ISBN 9789515831859; 9789173533409: EUR 75

An RREA Original Review by Taru Spiegel (Library of Congress)

Finland was long colonized by Sweden, with Swedes first inhabiting the western and southern coasts of Finland in significant numbers in the 12th and 13th centuries. Swedish remained the language of Finland’s governing elite even after the country was ceded to Russia in 1809. With the nationalist movement gaining ground in the late 19th century, Swedish was gradually displaced by Finnish.

When completed, the Biografiskt lexikon för Finland (BLF) will consist of four volumes with more than 1,600 entries about Swedish-speaking Finlanders from the time of the Crusades to the present day. The set is being published by the Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland [Swedish Literary Society in Finland], a scholarly organization that fosters the Swedish cultural heritage in Finland. Many of the entries are based on information from the Kansallisbiografia [National Biography] published earlier in Finnish by Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura [Finnish Literary Society]. Material of Swedish-speaking Finnish interest has been added to many of the original entries. New biographies of notable Finnish-Swedes have been added, as well. The biographies have been contributed by prominent historians and other specialists under the editorial direction of Henrik Meinander (chair of the editorial board), Henrik Knif, and Fredrik Hertzberg.

Two volumes have been published to date: volume 1 covers the Swedish era, from the 1100s to 1808, and volume 2 the Russian era, from 1809 to 1917. Volumes 3 and 4, scheduled for publication in 2011, will cover the era of the Republic of Finland, 1918 to the present. Volume 1 contains 350 entries, including kings, queens, and notable persons such as Bishop Henry, Per Brahe, Arvid Horn, and Henrik Gabriel Porthan. Well-known artists and artisans are discussed, as well as women such as the last abbess of the Birgittine Nådendal cloister, Birgitta Kurck, and author Catharina Charlotta Swedenmarck. Among the many fascinating people described in the 444 entries of volume 2 are adventurer Konni Zilliacus, who, after wasting his inheritance, moved to the United States, where he wrote a number of manuals for immigrants, political memoirs, and even a cookbook. The detailed account of Fredrika Runeberg by Merete Mazzarella is one of the articles; wife of nationalist poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Fredrika Runeberg was an author in her own right. Emma Irene Åström was Finland’s first woman Master of Philosophy and was later an instructor at this reviewer’s grandmother’s teacher-training seminary. Some entries are also available at http://www.blf.fi/artiklar.php.

The Biografiskt lexikon för Finland is valuable reference work pertaining to a minority whose role in Finnish history has been a significant one.


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Last update: April 2011 [LC]
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