The family

A FAMILY OF TYPOGRAPHERS AND POLITICIANS

Bjorn Wiinblad became what one today would probably call a mould breaker. He was out of a politically active, social democratic family where politics was discussed and with much entertaining with the participation of politicians and cultural characters. The parents Otto and Ebba Wiinblad had two children, daughter Ulla in 1914 and then Bjorn who was born on 20th September 1918.

Otto, the father, was a typographer, but at the same time a politician and elected for the Landsting (Landstinget) like his father Emil, while Ebba, the mother, was in charge of the household and the family’s well-being. In Bjorn’s childhood home there were many get-togethers and numerous politicians came to their home, among others Stauning. The family lived in Oesterbro out by Svanemoellen. During the summer the family lived in their summer cottage in Hvidovre and went by bike into town when they had errands in town.

”It was a lovely summer cottage with a beautiful garden with lots of fruit trees and bushes. My maternal grandmother Ebba preserved as much as could be and sewed diligently. They did not have a lot to play with” Ulla’s son and Bjorn Wiinblad’s nephew, Michael Buchwald (born in 1943) recalls. He himself visited his maternal grandparents in their summer cottage until they passed away in the mid 1950’s.

”I recall my maternal grandfather as a fairly strict gentleman while my maternal grandmother was very mild” Michael Buchwald remembers.

POLITICALLY ACTIVE WIINBLADS

Bjorn’s father Otto was the youngest son of a family of 5 boys and one girl. The brother Georg was a theatre critic and cultural columnist while another brother Albert became an author. Wiinblad’s paternal grandfather Eduard Emil Wiinblad (1854-1935; at christening: Windblad) was chief editor, typographer and politician. Emil was trained as typographer in 1873, and worked for a short period in London and thereafter in Svendborg where he became the chairman for the typographers’ trade union. From 1871 he became active in Internationale (the international workers' union).

In 1876 he was employed by the Social-Demokraten (The Social Democrat), at first as a typographer, but gradually he started writing for the newspaper. In order to save time he was typesetting directly from the printer’s type case. He became the editor of the newspaper in 1881 and developed it from being a small agitating newspaper with a small audience to become an organ for the Danish labour movement through focusing on both news features as well as public opinion. During these years the tone of the newspaper was sharpened and in 1892 and 1894 Emil Wiinblad landed in prison for libel.

He continued as editor of the newspaper until 1911. During his leadership the print grew from 2,000 to 60,000. He wrote in 1921, together with Alsing Andersen, Arbejderbevaegelsens Historie (Labour Movement’s History). Wiinblad was a member of the Folketinget (the national parliament of Denmark) 1895-1928 and of the Landsting (Landstinget) from 1928 till he passed away.

Source: Michael Buchwald (Bjorn Wiinblad’s nephew)