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Traveling with Grace: Back to Sweden!

Posted on July 7th, 2020 by

This week, Grace moves from Norway into Sweden. Special thanks go to JMM volunteer Harold Toppall for his transcriptions of Grace’s travel diary.

To read more of Grace’s travels, click here.

July 10, 1950                         

En route to Skara

Left Oslo this a.m. 8:45 weather still good. Ride very pretty around Oslo fjord & gradually out into the open country, many big farms, principle crops potatoes, hay & mustard which they raise in huge quantities & Mr. Al says they eat it a great deal with meat.

Svinesund Bridge, c. 1950-1955. Via.

At Sarpborg, a nice industrial town, we saw our last big beautiful falls (harnessed) & we crossed the border back into Sweden over a big new bridge at Svinesund (no trouble at all with customs) got the most delicious cherries here. Saw the town Uddevalla, had lunch at Stromstad a very pretty resort where we lunched at the very attractive Skagasrack Restaurant. The dining rooms in these countries are all so prettily decorated & all different.

Arrived at Stadshotelet in Skara about 5. Took a walk thru the little crooked cobble sts. , small houses with many flowers & birds in the windows. Got in just before a storm broke. Had dinner out on a porch, there is also a pretty garden where they serve in fine weather. Two men at nearby tables asked if we were Americans & struck up conversation. They had been sailors on the boats to N.Y. & were anxious talk about U.S. One offered to take me sightseeing. They didn’t like Skara (8000) too slow, nothing to do. Movies don’t open until August. Jean Crain is advertised in “En doropope Neger-Blvd”- “Pinkie” to us. American movies are favorites, with Swedish sub-titles of course.

July 11, 1950                         

En Route to Granna

Helene came in my room early this morning with letter from Betty with birthday gift-stamp case, I love it, & nice card from Charles. Rec’d cable from Birdie & Florence.

Läckö slott in Sweden. Via.

Left Skara in a pouring rain about 10. From Lidköping we made a side trip to see the old fortress castle of Läckö (12th century) on Lake Vänern but it was raining too hard to get out so we made a hasty survey of the exterior. One funny incident: a man driving a cart with a watering spray going full tilt in the driving rain.

Souvenir patch, Gullene Uttern, Granna, Sweden. Via.

We stopped in Skovde, quite a big town for lunch at the Stadshotelet, very swank. Had a particularly good smoresbrod. Then on thru Hjo, Bosarp, Habg, Jönköping to Granna on lovely spot Lake Battern in Osteregotlkand where we stay overnight at the Gyllene Uttern (Golden Otter), a very attractive place where we occupied a cute private cottage for the night. We had dinner in the loveliest dining room with window overlooking the lake & a beautiful sunset. There is a private chapel in this place which caters to wedding parties. As it was clear we decided to walk back to the cottage after dinner a distance of about 3 blocks but got lost at the turn of the road & Mr. A. had to come to our rescue.

June 12, 1950                         


Järnagatan (Järna street), with the City Hotel to the right, Södertälje, Södermanland, Sweden. Photo by Fredrik Bruno, 1944. Courtesy of the Swedish National Heritage Board, via.

Left Granna at 10, rain off & on. Stopped at Oldeshog to phone to Stockholm but they could not accommodate us tonight, so we decided to go to Södertälje near Stockholm instead of Orelbro as originally planned. We parked in front of the milk centralen & watched the townsfolk men, women & children come in with their tin cans to get the day’s supply.

Vintage postcard, Hotel Stora, Norrköping, c. 1900s. Via.

Then on thru Mjolby, Linkopsing where we saw a beautiful fountain statue by Carl Milles, Norrköping, a big city where we had lunch at hotel Stora. There is a pretty park in front of the hotel with lovely flowers & a few cacti & sickly palms which Mr. A. says are famous all over Sweden. Mr. A’s grandmother lives in this city (he was born here) & he visited her while we had lunch. We passed 5 or 6 buses from the Netherlands this morning with a crowd of laughing young people, & this afternoon we saw one of them down in a ditch while the occupants were walking disconsolately up & down the road. The road down to Sodertelje & Stockholm one of the finest in Sweden & we drove at a fast clip arriving at Stadshotelet at 5.

July 13, 1950                         


Came to Stockholm about 11 A.M. went right to American Express where nice young man from Boston took us in tow. Then we went to Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace in the Old Town, c. 1880s. Courtesy of the Swedish National Heritage Board, via.

They let me go upstairs in King’s private elevator (he being away) & we saw the state rooms on the 3rd floor. All very gorgeous; inlaid floors, hand painted ceilings by Boucher, huge Gobelin tapestries on walls, handsome crystal chandeliers, ormolu furniture, cases filled with amber, onyx, quartz, ivories porcelains, magnificent dinner services in peacocks blue. Then a quick tour of Stockholm, beautiful city build on islands in Lake Malar, much traffic, active business section, large bldgs., interesting Stadshuset (carillon plays each day at noon) Rylssdag, Opera house, Royal Theatre, many movie houses all showing American films. We went back to the Grand Hotel to rest before going to Bromma airport at 9 o’clock for our flight to the Arctic Circle.

Aircraft at Bromma Airport near Stockholm City, 1947. Photo by Fredrik Bruno, courtesy of the Swedish National Heritage Board, via. 

We started at 10:15, 48 passengers aboard. The fuselage is divided into 2 cars, separated by a garderobe & little galley. There is a magazine rack full of the latest periodicals & 3 hostesses overwhelm you with solicitude, answering questions, bringing pillows, passing chewing gum, etc. We took off very smoothly & Stockholm illuminated looks every inch a queen as we look down at her in the semi-darkness. One of the crew talks over the loudspeaker in Swedish & English. He says there are 12,000 islands, big & little, in the archipelago of Stockholm, & some 98,000 lakes in Sweden. We rise to a height of 6,000 ft. At first, we can only see a mass of wooly clouds below us like so many white sheep, while above us the sky is clear & growing brighter all the time. Sweden is divided roughly into 3 areas: coastal plains, forests, & mts. 6000 yrs. ago these mts. were covered with ice. There are many rivers winding below us which widen to lakes between the mts. & the forests. Some 20,000,000 logs are floated down these Swedish rivers during the summer season, for the pulp industry is the largest in the country. We see many sawmills, what is pointed out as the longest bridge in Sweden which at this height doesn’t look very impressive, the towns get smaller & further apart, roads almost disappear. As we go further north vegetation becomes rare.

Kiruna church in Laplan, with the Kirunacaara mountain and mine in background, c. 1940-1959. Photo by Almquist & Coster, courtesy of the Swedish National Heritage Board, via.

At 11 o’clock the hostesses bring us martinis with delicious canapes. We are allowed to smoke after take-off & they pass around cigarettes. We fly over Lapland, over Kiruna, the metropolis of this north county, which is the largest community in point of area which equaling that of Los Angeles, we see a huge iron mine (they take the ore from here to Naruik) & we soar higher to fly over Sweden’s highest mt. range, right over the highest, Mt. Kebnekaise, 6500 ft. In this region we see many glaciers, the Charles Rabot – named for a French explorer, being the largest. The lakes around here are still frozen & the mts, tho not so high as those in Switzerland or Canada, are thickly blanketed in snow. All this time the sun is just skimming along the horizon & the lights play softly in pastel tones over this wonderful panorama spread out some 8,000 ft. below. It is indescribably beautiful, the shell pink of the snowy crests, the jade green of the glaciers, the pale gray & beige of the rocky surfaces.

At about 1:15 we crossed the Arctic Circle 5 hrs.-1500 miles-from the North Pole & the pilot described an arc which gave us a jolting thrill. Then we each received a certificate inscribed with our names, by way of initiation. At 2 a.m., when the fiery red of the sun had turned to a bright gold & it was already as clear as noonday, the stewardesses fastened little tables to attachments in our chair arms (there is also a little slide which pushes back to disclose an ash receptacle) & they served a delicious hot lunch or breakfast, consisting of bread, butter & goat’s cheese, coffee, roast ptarmigan with vegetables, clapcake, a glass of Burgundy & later brandy.

The Stream in central Stockholm, 1945. Photo by Fredrik Bruno, courtesy of the Swedish National Heritage Board, via. 

Gradually we fly back to civilization & the big towns & bldgs. & activity, tho not so much at this hour. The farms spread out below us, in patterns of red (roofs) green (grass) & god (fields of mustard). We fly over the university town of Upsala & then as we near Stockholm the clouds bank up again like masses of candy cotton green against a pink sled & the sky grows darker as we descend & the plane makes a nose dive thru the clouds & we see Stockholm, once more looking very quiet in the half light of daybreak, coming in to see a second sunrise.

We went back to the hotel at 4:30 A.M. (Mr. A. was waiting at Bromma airport to meet us) & we slept until 11. Then over to the Palace to finish what we didn’t see yesterday. Again, I went up on the King’s elevator & we saw the 2nd floor with elaborate state rooms, interesting collection of royal portraits, sculptures, bibelots, etc. the decorations sumptuous. In dining room, the walls are covered in thick velvet & a complete porcelain service is fitted into each wall like jewelry in a jewel case.

Gondolen restaurant suspended from footbridge.  Stockholm, 1956. Via.

Then we went to the Restaurant Gondolen for lunch, a unique place on a bridge spanning one of the main thoroughfares of Stockholm at the height of the 7th story. While eating a delicious lunch we enjoyed an unexcelled view of the city & its many waterways framed in the large windows on both sides. From here we rode out to Drottingholm palace a very pleasant place on the water, particularly alluring on this fine day. There is a beautiful formal garden behind it. We went thru the private theatre on the estate built in XVII century & restored in 1944. The stage very narrow & deep, we saw several sets of scenery, the props room, many beautiful old costumes, lavishly trimmed in spangles & gold, feather headdresses, we saw miniature peep shows of play that have been given here, a large salon lined with old Greek statuary, where suppers were served to the actors after the play, some of pianofortes, etc. The benches in the orchestra are numbered, there are 2 thrones in front for the king & queen surrounded by stools for the courtiers & a few boxes high on either side, some with screens in front for those wishing to remain incognito & all of it tastefully decorated.

Saltsjöbaden, Stockholm Sweden, 1950. Via.

From here we had a beautiful ride to Saltsjöbaden, a popular lake resort where we spent a pleasant hour or two just watching all the different kinds of water craft bobbing about on the bright blue water & the people sunning themselves on the rocks & beaches or diving into the clear cold water. There are several pretty hotels here. Then back to the Grand Hotel for dinner where the food is really excellent.

July 15, 1950

Got up late, lunched at the side walk cafe [“Flust…..] across the st. while watching the crowds saunter by. Eating is a very leisurely affair in this country. Sat in the park near hotel most of the afternoon. Nice class of people sitting here. A man is taking pictures & developing them while the customer waits. We are amused at one good looking couple who are being photographed kissing & hugging one another in all manner of poses & kidding the poor old photographer for dear life. They finally get their pictures & walk off apparently well pleased with the result. Another couple pose with their big Dalmation proudly sitting between them. We buy cherries & oranges & ice-cream on a stick. Helene hold out the coins & the venders take the required amt. since we can’t understand when we ask the price of anything so we let the money talk for us. Tonight while we dine at the Grand there is a violinist & a pianist playing dinner music & the latter is a perfect showman indulging in the wildest antics.

July 16, 1950                       

Another perfect day! Went to the Filadelfia church [Filadelfiakyrkan], one of the largest in Stockholm, very modern & very simple. A lovely choir & a good soloist who sang one hymn in English. Interesting service, people plain & devout looking.

Had lunch at the beautiful Berg’s restaurant in the garden, fountains playing, soft music, lovely flowers all around, handing baskets overhead filled with huge fuchsias & gorgeous pink geraniums. Then rode out thru Djungand Park. The local population is taking full advantage of this wonderful weather. They are out in droves walking, cycling, sunbathing on the grassy slopes.

We visited Waldemarsudde, home of Prince Eugen, the royal painter who died in 1947. There is a small art gallery adjacent to the palace with many lovely painting by Linn & other artists. In the palace his rooms are always filled with beautiful fresh flowers which give them quite a lived-in atmosphere.

Before going to the China Theater, we had an ice in the car & then saw a very good variety show. There was an extremely funny Jewish comedian & some fine dancing. Back to the Grand at 10 for dinner.

July 17, 1950

Grave of Gustav Vasa and two of his wives, Uppsala Cathedral. Via.

Started out at 10:30. Pretty ride to Uppsala. This quaint old university city was formerly the capitol of Sweden. We went in the beautiful old cathedral one of the oldest in Europe. Fine stained-glass windows, handsome carved & gilded pulpit, gold sarcophagus containing remains of Gustav Vasa, many sculptured marble sarcophagi of Swede’s royalty bearing their reclining figures dressed in robes of state. We saw the Church Treasury with crowns, scepters, jewels, etc. Tombs of Swedenborg & Lenne, botanist. We rode around the campus. Buildings very interesting, names of prominent scientists on outside walls on one bldg. reminds me of Lyric ceiling. Huge library (silver bible) old palace, being restored.

Skokloster Castle logo, via.

Lunched at Hotelo Gillet (very nice for this sized town). Then a trip to Skokloster Palace picturesquely situated on Lake Malaren. On our return to Stockholm we rode over to Skansen, a high grade amusement park affording fine panorama of city. Here we heard a good band concert. There was also dancing. The flowers here are lovely, many of the varieties we have in summer, only they all seem to be much larger. There is a small zoo in the park& several old windmills. We bought some fruit here, apples from South Africa, pears from Australia, grapes from Holland. No wonder fruit is expensive here. We had dinner in a very attractive restaurant in the park.

July 18, 1950

Nordiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, 1900-1910s. Via.

Went to Historical Museum (magnificent bldg.) Spent 3 1/2 hrs. gazing at the most extensive collection of Scandinaviana yet seen: furniture & interiors & costumes from the 15th to the present century, paintings, jewels, chariots, sleighs, coaches, hand looming [h………..] toys, doll houses, weapons, rune stones, etc. etc. Then we visited St. Seraphinis hospital, where a lovely young nurse who had spent a year at Ford Hospital in Detroit, showed us all around wards, operating rooms, etc.

At 5:30 we left Stockholm to ride to Nynäshamn where we took the boat Drotting for Visby. It sailed at midnight but before we left, we had coffee & sandwiches in the dining saloon. We had a rather rough trip in cramped quarters & no body slept much except Helene. Anne got sick toward morning. And Mr. A. said he was sick too.

Vintage travel poster, Stockholm, Sweden, 1953. Via.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


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Once Upon a Time…08.23.2019

Posted on July 1st, 2020 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church by email at

JMM 1996.63.176

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: August 23, 2019

PastPerfect Accession #: 1996.63.176

Status: Partially identified – Dr. and Mrs. Vogelstein with others at the dedication of the Blaustein Building, Sinai Hospital, circa 1985. Left to right: unidentified; Ned Rosenberg; Debbie Vogelstein; Daniel Hirschhorn; Dr. Vogelstein.

Thanks To: Debbie Vogelstein; Teri Mantell


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Expressing Identity

Posted on June 30th, 2020 by

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday.

All of the activities we share are designed for families to complete together and use supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer include crafts, games, scavenger hunts, online story times, and more. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team

This week, inspired by Pride month, we are thinking about identities. Image via.

For all of us, our identity can include many elements, the things we choose to express and the things that society sees within us. Our identity can include our ethnic heritage, nationality, and religion which we often share with our family. Our identity can also include skills, interests, passions and political beliefs. It takes all of these elements to create each of our unique identities. With the activities in this packet, think about your own identity and what makes you who you are.

Pride month celebrates the members of our community who identify as LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and asexual), an umbrella term used by some to describe their sexual orientation and gender identities. Individuals who identify as part of this group often face significant challenges across the world, including within our Baltimore community. It is for this reason that coming together every June to mark Pride month is so important, whether or not we personally identify as part of this group.

Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying our crafts and activities on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Tumblr pages and use #MuseumFromHome.

Download the full Expressing Identity activity packet as a single pdf here.

Wear It With Pride

One great way to express your identity is through your clothing. This activity is inspired by our Fashion Statement exhibit and will help you think about the power of what we choose to wear.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

A printed copy blank t-shirt

A printed copy of our t-shirt icons


Download Instructions for Wear It With Pride

Eating Your Heritage

For many, food is a great way to celebrate their heritage. Perhaps you and your family enjoy turkey for thanksgiving or matzah for Passover. Inspired by our Chosen Food exhibit, in this activity, create a plate of food that represents your heritage.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

A printed copy of our sample place setting, paper or a paper plate.


Download Instructions for Eating Your Heritage

Pride Buttons

Rally button, JMM 1987.208.3; Chizuk Amuno Tikun Olam button, JMM 2003.60.1; Barack Obama campaign button, JMM 2008.78.1; March on Washington button, JMM 1992.103.1.

Buttons and pins are a great way to show your support of different causes. They can be almost any size, shape, or color. In this activity, you can design and create a button to support the LGBTQ community. Use these same instructions to create buttons that support other causes that are important to you.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

Recycled cardboard


Craft Supplies

Safety Pin


Download Instructions for Pride Buttons

Pride Flag

Flags have historically been a great way to show your support, continue your support of the LGBTQ community by creating a Pride flag.

Supplies needed:



Chopstick, skewer, or paint stirrer


Download Instructions for Pride Flag

Keep‌ ‌Discovering‌ ‌

‌ ‌If you enjoyed designing a t-shirt to express your identity, why not experiment with tie dye. Express your individuality and creativity by tie-dying t-shirts.

Art is a great way to express your identity and individuality. Try making a collage that expresses your identity.

Think about aspects of your identity you want to represent- your religion, heritage, personality, likes, dislikes, hobbies, groups and communities you belong to, and values. Then, draw your own silhouette or use a template. Fill it with magazine pictures, words, and drawings that express your personal identity.

Listen to readings of two books about expressing your identity. In Chik Chak Shabbat, hear about how food can express our personal and familial identities:

In Be Who You Are celebrate the many ways we can express ourselves and our uniqueness:

Ready for more? Explore the resources published by Keshet, an organization dedicated to working towards LGBTQ equality in Jewish life!


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