The above card by Maja Synnergren, posted in Stockholm on 10 April 1939, is not of a sexy witch, in fact she is not a witch of any description—although she is at least an example of the very rare not-child and not-hag that I mentioned in my last post. She is here because of what she is doing: she is selling Easter eggs, balloons and Easter witches to a couple of very cute children.
I wish I could say that I had seen a sexy Easter witch doll, but I haven’t. So the chances are that this very pretty street vendor is not even selling sexy witches, she is probably selling hag-witches. Oh well. I have included her here, though, to get you in mood for the cards below and to give you a bit of social context.
And, on this front, I should also note that all of these Easter Witch postcards date from the late 30s and early 40s: that is during the lead-up to WW2, the war itself, and the immediate post-war period. Considering what was going on in Europe, they are surprisingly bright and cheery cards.
Remember, though, Sweden remained neutral during WW2: it did not participate in the war against Germany and was not attacked (though, early part of the war, Sweden and Britain supported Finland against the Soviets; the Fins turned to Germany for help when British support waned. When Finnish/Nazi success enabled them to occupy Soviet territory, Britain declared war against Finland). Norway, however, was occupied by the Germans for most of the war. (For more on this see the Wikipedia entries on Sweden, Finland and Norway during WW2).
And so, now it is time for some real pretty-witches! The first three below I have posted before, but I have two copies of the first card now, one of which has a six-line poem on the verso.
[1943, Glad Påsk]
[1943, Glad Påsk, verso poem]
[1944, Glad Påsk, artwork by "Ain A" or "Ain R"]
[1945, Glad Påsk, artwork by "M.I." or "M.J."]
[1945, Hauskaa Pääsiäistä]
[1947, Glad Påsk, artwork by "Kristina"]
[1947, Glad Påsk, witches always have the best cats!]
Jason, over at The Wild Hunt, has just done a brief post on Easter Witches (here), which mentions my previous post on the subject (thanks Jason). He quotes a paragraph from Time Magazine about “odd, intensely national” Easter traditions, and he links to a charming post by Ladyfi on the subject (see here).
It is the feedback to Jason’s post, however, will probably interested you most. Cipolla mentions Sweden’s “witches’ mountain” (Blåkulla)—their answer to Germany’s Brocken Mountain—as the destination for Swedish witches. This mountain is an island off the coast in southern Sweden: its official name is “Blå jungfrun” (blue maiden). Other feedback on Jason’s post, by Elysia, provides a link to a recent article by Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius, Easter—when Sweden’s witches come out to play, in the English-language Swedish online news service, The Local. Definitely worth a read.