Berra Barden – Swedish Political Cartoonist, Life-Long Socialist 1924 – 2012
An email from old friend and companera, Marilyn Barden, this morning. Her husband, Berra Barden, died in his sleep last night in a nursing home near their home in Varmo, Sweden. Berra was 88. A man with a gentle wit and sharp mind, he was a fine political cartoonist and life long socialist who has watched Sweden’s lurch to the right politically `the Americanization of Sweden’ these past years with consternation. The Bardens and our family were a part of the same circle during our Helsinki years in the late 1980s. We visited their Varmo home outside Stockholm several times and have remained in touch with Marilyn and Berra all these years. Here is an extract from Marilyn’s email announcing Berra’s death. A daughter, Molly, preceded Berra in death.
“Berra, my husband since 51 years left us last night. After 2 weeks in hospital and a new pacemaker he was sent to an elder centre for sick people. He was therefore 10days and got more and more tired despite good care. He passed on in his sleep at 10.15 last night. He had his stroke 15 years ago and despite that has had a relatively good life. He was 88, older than any of his relatives and got to love and hug both children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They and dogs were his real loves, aside from me. A huge golden retriever who worked as care dog at the centre jumped up in his bed and lay there with him for a long time. It is more and more common with dogs working in elder care centres. Jenny and family are on ski holiday in Northern Sweden but are coming home today to say goodbye to grandfather. Rebecca is here in Stockholm and after several years of misunderstandings Berra got to experience a loving daughter again. We will have memorial ceremonies in our home for friends and family in a couple of weeks. He will be cremated as he wished and the ashes will be spread in the beautiful memorial park in our Varmdo cemetery where Molly is buried.”