Friday, January 20, 2017

Historical seminar in Poltava Battle Museum

January 20, 2017 Today in the Poltava Battle Museum we had a historical seminar dedicated to the founder of the museum and its first director Ivan Pavlovsky. This man has made a valuable contribution to the first museum that was opened on the battle field in 1909. He helped a lot to Karl Bennedich and Frey Rydeberg, two young Swedish officers from Norra Skånska infantry regiment who were sent to Poltava in summer 1911 by order of the General Stuff of the Swedish Army. They main goal was to find main burial places of Swedes killed in the decisive battle of the Great Northern war.

I presented my paper dedicated to the misadventure of the box with skulls and bones of the warriors of the Charles XII who were mostly killed during the second stage of the battle which in fact was not a battle but massacre. This sad freight was delivered to Stockholm in 1911. It took 47 long years until it has been buried in the cemetery of St. Birgitta monastery in Vadstena. The field where the main burial place was discovered in 1911 is still in agricultural use. Every spring when this field is under ploughing it is possible to discover some fragments of skulls and bones of Swedish warriors. I have already published a few articles in our local newspapers with appeal for turning this field into memorial field and unveiling a memorial stone with an appropriate sign. Today I have shown to the participants many typical Swedish gravestones that were erected in Sweden under the common graves of the soldiers of Charles XII. Mostly these common graves connected with the death march of General Armfeldt (Karolinernas dödsmarsch).
Grave stones along the Karolinernas dödsmarsch
We decided to address our appeal to the City Council. We sincere believe that sooner or later our dream will come true and we will not be ashamed while receiving foreign delegations and tourists in Poltava.
Common grave of Swedish warriors in Vadstena