KOZHIKODE: Kerstin Eriksson, 80, a Swedish survivor of Second World War is trying to spread the message of universal brotherhood and peace, urging the world to “Say no to Wars”. She made Kenya her second home and with many friends here, now Kerala is her third home, she claims. Ms Eriksson recounts how as a child she was forced to live away from her parents during the war. The government had ordered to keep away children in rural parts to ensure better safety, food and living conditions.
In those days, towns were easy targets. My childhood was full of hoary tales of bombing, air raids, torture in concentration camps and endless marching of armed troops,” she said. “In fact our country betrayed us and the other nations that fought the Hitler’s troops by allowing the Nazi troops to pass through our nation for invading Norway. My father was working in a metal company. I came to know that we supplied metal to Hitler for making weapons secretly and facilitated the troop movement. That might be one reason Hitler did not unleash much attack on Sweden,” she added.
She recalls how once in a town, she heard radio talks of Hitler through which he terrorised people shouting aloud. Now it is over and we have a new life. We stand for a world without wars,” she adds. Ms Eriksson, a former school psychologist started her real quest for learning after her retirement at the age of 63. She studied anthropology, Sanskrit, Indology and many more. “When I went to the university my classmates were in their 20s whereas my teachers were my school mates,” she added. It was her love for anthropology that led her to India. At 70, ten years ago, I stopped the learning mission. Accompanied by sister’s granddaughter, Ms Eriksson was here for participating in an international tourism seminar held at Mothakkara in Wayanad and also to visit her few friends.