spritmuseum djurgården true crime

True Crime

24 Nov–24 Nov, 2024

An exhibition about Sweden’s prohibition-era, the smugglers, bootleggers and moonshine marauders

Stockholm, 1920s. A flood of illegal alcohol washes over Sweden’s capital city. Every night, thousands of litres of 96% export liquor are smuggled in from the Baltic through the Stockholm archipelago. Home stills are operating at full capacity. Illegal alcohol is sold more or less openly in the streets.

In the early 20th century, many believe that liquor is a threat to the progress of society. The crisis of the First World War creates the necessary political unity to introduce the strictest alcohol regulation Sweden has ever had. It is not the total prohibition of the US and Finland, but a level of regulation that makes it much more difficult for everybody (and impossible for some people) to buy a legal bottle of spirits. And the more regulations are added, the more attractive the liquor becomes.

The efforts of the authorities are complicated by the fact that many Swedes do not regard liquor smuggling or home distilling as particularly serious problems. Though the combination of alcohol and crime is harvesting some victims, some of the “liquor marauders” attain the status of folk heroes.

This exhibition will lead you down dark quaysides and through narrow allies, to shady medical clinics, seedy restaurants and illegal nightclubs. Here you will encounter bold smugglers, cunning dealers, clever distillers, corrupt physicians and crooked party promoters.

Welcome to prohibition-era Sweden!

Buy your entry ticket HERE.