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Kata Dalström

Katarina "Kata" Dalström (18 December 1858, Emtöholm, Västervik Municipalitymarker, Kalmar County – 11 December 1923), born Anna Maria Katarina Carlberg in a wealthy upper-class family, became one of Swedenmarker’s leading socialist agitators and leftist writers of her time. She also wrote books, mostly political texts, but also books about Norse Mythology and Viking legends.


Kata Dalström was born in to a wealthy family. Politically, Kata Dalström developed from liberalism, which was radical enough according to her family, towards Marxism and revolutionary socialism. In 1893 she joined the Swedish Social Democratic Party and was the first woman elected to the executive committee of the party in 1900. She was an outspoken supporter of Norwaymarker's right to independence from Sweden, which was proclaimed in 1905. In the question of Women suffrage, she was careful not to be to radical when the question was debated in 1905, because she was afraid that it would delay the reform of male suffrage.

In the party split of 1917 Kata Dalström joined the Left wing, headed by Zeth Höglund, which would soon become the Communist Party. Kata Dalström was a supporter of the Bolsheviks and the Russian Revolution and a Swedish delegate to the second Comintern congress of 1920.

One of the controversies Kata Dalström was responsible for within the Swedish Communist group was her view on religion. She wanted to see a more open approach towards Christianity, which according to her was entirely fusible with Socialism. This view was criticized, especially by the outspoken atheist Ture Nerman. Nerman was supported by Zinoviev, the leader of the Communist International, who, although a supporter of religious freedom, declared that a communist politician had to be atheist to understand Marxism.

By the end of her life, she became a Buddhist.

In Culture

Kata Dalström appears as a character in Dag Skogheim's novel Sulis (1980).


  • Stig Hadenius, Torbjörn Nilsson & Gunnar Åselius (1996). Sveriges historia (The historiy of Sweden). Borås: Bonnier Albs. ISBN 91-34-51857-6. (in Swedish)

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