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swede9509San Francisco Chronicle, September 5, 1909. Suicide by rail (which is pretty common here in Chicago) shows a lack of consideration toward the railway workers, passengers, witnesses, etc, but it’s undeniably efficient.

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4 Comments

  1. A lot of Finnish immigrants were recorded as Swedish because Finland wasn’t an independent country until 1917 (Finland was first part of Sweden, and then part of Russia before it became independent). Modern Finland has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Kind of makes you wonder if some of the dead “Swedes” in recent posts may have actually been Finns.

  2. Seems to me I read somewhere that the Scandinavian suicide thing is actually a statistical artifact, having to do with the way they crunch the numbers rather than actual rates of self-snuffage. Then again, they’re all boozers up there, and nothing propels suicide more efficiently than alcoholism. Though that raises the question of why the Russians aren’t the world’s suicide kings.

  3. Having spent 10 autumns and winters in Finland, I can totally understand what it is about the place that makes people want to drink heavily and kill themselves. I’m not sure what’s so different about Russia that they don’t have the same phenomenon.

    • So it’s not all gorgeous fjords and uninhibited blondes and birch-branch spankings in cozy saunas? I am disillusioned.


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