During World War II, more than 30,000 people fled across the Baltic Sea to escape German and Soviet occupation. They fled from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in boats of various kinds. Escape boats can still be found along the shores of Sweden. And all around the country, items have been saved that were once packed for escape. Items full of emotions, stories and memories of people, places and experiences. The exhibition will be on display throughout 2023.

Those alive to tell the tale of having to flee their home were mere children during the war. Their memories and objects are the focal point of the exhibition.

Most of those who fled the Baltics lived the rest of their lives in exile, in Sweden or other countries. Many hoped to be able to return home soon. But it would be decades before this would be possible. It was not until 1991 that the Baltic States were able to gain their freedom. Most never had a chance to see their old home again, or the friends and family they had left behind.

Things they brought with them from their homeland took on a special value as links to the life they once had and memories of their escape.

“The fine china was very carefully packed. And we used it daily at first. Mum and Dad couldn’t afford to buy everyday dinnerware when they came here. They were too poor. We were told to be very careful.” Tiit Tamme

The exhibition focuses on the flight across the Baltic Sea, beginning with everyday life during the occupation and ending with arrival in Sweden and a life in exile.

The exhibition opened on 23 September 2022 and will be on display throughout 2023.