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Old 04-06-2015, 11:24 AM   #1
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Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

Here is the Hjemmet's Spirit Medal (Hjemmet's Humør Medalje). This was an award of the Danish publication "Hjemmet" ("The Home") which was/is something along the lines of a Danish version of Life or the Picture Post that has slowly evolved into a rather glossy Woman's magazine. Not quite on par with a Danish Time Man Of The Year but also not a worthless token that everyone received after submitting 6 cornflake boxtops. Although not an award of a Socialist "party" it was certainly awarded to one in this case.

The Medal is made of Sterling silver and depicts a smiling sun (referring to the characteristics of those awards with it) and rather fortunately was named and dated. This example comes on a female ribbon with the standard red/white design most Danish awards have. I have not yet seen an example awarded to a male so I don't know if they were suspended by the usual Danish style male ribbon (the 5 sided style the Russians borrowed).

Awarded to Helyett Simonsen in 1963.

Also a cover of a 1963 issue "Hjemmet". I don't know which issue covered the awarding of the Medal but I am working on it.

Danish Medals are fairly rare and generally unattributable so finding this attributable one, although not a state award is a rather pleasant change. I also have a bit of an affinity with Denmark, having married there.
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File Type: jpg Hjemmet's 1.jpg (117.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Hjemmet's 2.jpg (112.5 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg 1963.jpg (39.4 KB, 11 views)
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

Miss Helyett Simonsen or "Simon" as she was affectionately known by both allies and opponents alike was a larger than life political figure in Denmark for over 30 years. She rose in the ranks of Socialdemokraterne in district 10 of Copenhagen and as a robust Trade Unionist. She started her political career before the war and continued until her death in 1966.

Her "Who's who in Danish women" type article fills in a great deal of her story.

1898-1966, fagforeningsformand, politiker.

*9.3.1898 i Ålborg, †8.3.1966 i Kbh.

Forældre: musiker Jens S. og Jensine Christine Christensen (*ca. 1872).

Hun satte sin hat, som hun ville, den fagligt, parti- og kvindepolitisk aktive hattesyerske HS. Som ung drog hun fra fødebyen Ålborg til Kbh. og ansattes i 1922 i firmaet J. Schermeister & Co., hvor hun forblev resten af sit arbejdsliv. Hun blev snart tillidskvinde for sine kolleger på systuen, men hun gik videre ind i det faglige arbejde og blev et meget aktivt medlem af Stråhattesyerskernes Fagforening, siden Hattesyernes Fagforening. Da hun ikke holdt sig tilbage på foreningens generalforsamlinger, valgtes hun ind i forhandlingsudvalg og som delegeret til Hatte- og Buntmagerforbundets kongres, allerede før hun i 1938 blev medlem af fagforeningsbestyrelsen. På forbundskongressen i 1951 markerede hun sin kvindepolitiske holdning i et indlæg om ligeløn. Det må være blevet positivt modtaget, for hun valgtes ikke alene til medlem af forbundsbestyrelsen, men også til forretningsudvalget. Hun sad i forbundsbestyrelsen til 1958, da Dansk Hatte- og Buntmagerforbund indgik i Dansk Beklædningsarbejderforbund. 1951 var hun blevet valgt til formand for Hattesyernes Fagforening. Den fortsatte som selvstændig fagforening, også efter sammenslutningen, og HS forblev på posten som formand, indtil alle kbh.ske hatteforeninger i 1965 blev slået sammen til én forening.

Fra midten af 1940'erne forenede HS det kvindepolitiske med det fagpolitiske. Siden 1935 havde faglige kvinder fra de nordiske lande afholdt studieuger, hvor de mødtes til foredrag og diskussioner. Dette nordiske samarbejde udmøntedes i Norge 1940, Sverige 1946 og Finland 1948 i oprettelse af kvindesekretariater. Men i Danmark var der hos De samvirkende Fagforbund (DSF) stærk modvilje mod tanken. HS havde fra starten slået til lyd for dansk deltagelse. I 1948 var hun leder af den danske delegation, og efter studieugen skrev hun til DSFs formand Eiler Jensen og fremhævede det nordiske kvindearbejde og understregede behovet for et fagligt kvinderåd i Danmark. Formålet skulle være “at dygtiggøre, oplyse og aktivisere kvinderne inden for fagbevægelsen”. Omsider gav DSF efter for presset fra de aktive kvinder og fra de andre nordiske faglige ledere, og 1949 blev Fagbevægelsens Kvindesekretariat (FK) en realitet. I løbet af kort tid havde 23 af de forbund, hvor over 2% af medlemmerne var kvinder, tilsluttet sig FK. Da Kvindeligt Arbejderforbund i 1952 kom med, var over 90% af de kvindelige DSF-medlemmer via deres forbund tilknyttet FK. Kvindesekretariatet fik ikke på noget tidspunkt DSFs fulde opbakning. Kun i kraft af en ihærdig indsats fra en kreds af faglige kvinder blev FK holdt i live, men i løbet af 1960'erne bredte den opfattelse sig, at tiden var løbet fra sekretariatet. I 1965 meldte Kvindeligt Arbejderforbund og kvindestærke forbund som Dansk Beklædningsarbejderforbund og Dansk Tekstilarbejderforbund sig ud, og det blev begyndelsen til en opløsningsproces, der resulterede i nedlæggelsen af FK i 1970. HS var som formand fra oprettelsen i 1949 til sin død i 1966 FKs dynamiske frontkæmper, men hun havde en række fremtrædende fagforeningskvinder som medspillere, bl.a. Ella Jensen fra Tobaksarbejderforbundet og Anny Bengtsson fra Beklædningsarbejderforbundet. Endnu en samarbejdspartner var Marie Nielsen, Husligt Arbejderforbund, der efterfulgte HS som formand for FK. I sin egenskab af formand for FK udpegedes HS i 1950 til medlem af den svangerskabskommission, der var blevet nedsat samme år, ligesom hun kom til at sidde i den store kvindekommission fra dens nedsættelse i 1965 til sin død året efter.

Politisk knyttede HS sig til Socialdemokratiet. Hun blev 1951 medlem af bestyrelsen i sin lokale vælgerforening. Også i socialdemokratisk sammenhæng forfægtede hun sin kvindepolitiske holdning, og hun var et selvskrevet medlem af vælgerforeningens kvindeudvalg. 1953 blev hun formand for kvindeudvalget. Det var hendes håb, at kvinder måtte blive betroet samfundets mest betydende hverv: i regering, Rigsdag og kommunalråd. “Er det da ikke mændene der har bragt krig, ulykker og kaos over menneskene?”, spurgte hun på sin sædvanlige bramfrie måde. Selv valgtes hun i 1954 ind i Borgerrepræsentationen. Hun blev bl.a. medlem af hospitalsudvalget og af decisionsudvalget, der varetog revisionen af kommunens regnskaber. Også som borgerrepræsentant lod hun sin røst høre. Allerede i 1957 fremsatte hun forslag om gratis undersøgelse af kvinder for brystkræft, et forslag, hun gentog ved de følgende års budgetforhandlinger. Hun havde talrige forslag til løsning af hovedstadens trafikproblemer. Når HS brændte for en sag, var hun utrættelig og vedholdende, og det var nok ikke uden grund, at L. Estrup, borgmester for Kbh.s magistrats 4. afdeling, ved en budgetforhandling spontant erklærede, at “den pige er blevet mig et dyrt bekendtskab”. Hun var endvidere en højt respekteret og vellidt tilsynsførende for børn, der var anbragt under børneværnet. I 1963 modtog hun ugebladet Hjemmets humørmedalje i anerkendelse af den måde, hvorpå hun røgtede dette på mange måder vanskelige hverv. HS var medlem af Borgerrepræsentationen til 1962 og igen 1965-66 som suppleant. I nekrologen i Aktuelt beskrives “Simon”, som hun blev kaldt, som en lille, rund, højttalende, hjertevarm kvinde med et overskud af humør. Hun havde sine meningers mod, også når de gik imod flertallet.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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1898-1966 Trade Union Chairman, Politician.

* 9.3.1898 in Ålborg, † 8.3.1966 in Copenhagen.
Parents: musician Jens Simonsen and Jensine Christine Christensen (* ca. 1872).

She wore her hat, as she wished, the academic, Party and Women's Politically Active Hatter Helyett Simonsen. As a youngster she journeyed from her native town of Ålborg to Copenhagen and was employed in 1922 at the firm J. Schermeister & Co., where she remained for the rest of her working life. She soon became a confident woman with her colleges at the workshop but she went further into academic work and was a very active member of the Straw Hatters' Union, then Hatters' Union. As she did not hesitate at the Association's general meetings, she was elected into the Negotiating Committee and as a delegate to the Hat and Furrier Trade Unions' Congress, already she had in 1938 become a member of the Union Board. At the Federation Congress in 1951 she marked her women's political position in a policy on equal pay. She must have been well received, as she was chosen not only as a member of the Federation's Board, but also to the Executive Committee. She sat on the Federation's Board until 1951, when the Danish Hat And Furrier Trade Union merged into the Danish Clothing Worker's Federation. In 1951 she was elected chair of Hatters Trade Union. It continued as an independent trade union, also after the merger, and Helyett Simonsen remained at the post of chair until everyone of Copenhagen's Hat Unions in 1965 was merged into one Union.

From the mid-1940s Helyett Simonsen united female politics with the Trade Union policy. Since 1935, professional women from the Nordic countries held study weeks, where they met for lectures and discussions. This Nordic cooperation was founded in Norway in 1940, Sweden 1946 and Finland 1948 in establishing women's secretariats. But in Denmark there was strong opposition to this idea by the Federation Of Trade Unions. Helyett Simonsen had from the start fought out loudly for Danish participation. In 1948 she was leader of the Danish delegation and after the study week she wrote to the Federation Of Trade Unions' Chairman Eiler Jensen and highlighted the Nordic women's work and stressed the need for a Professional Women's Council in Denmark. The purpose would be "to perfect, enlighten and energise the women in Trade Unions". Eventually the Federation Of Trade Unions gave in to pressure from the active women and the other Nordic Union leaders and in 1949 The Trade Union Women's Secretariat was a reality. In a short space of time, 23 of the Federation, representing more than 2% of the members were women, joined the Trade Union Women's Secretariat. The Women Workers' Union in 1952 with over 90% of the female Federation Of Trade Unions members through their federations were affiliated Trade Union Women's Secretariat. The Women's Secretariat was not at any time given The Federation Of Trade Unions' full support. Only thanks to the hard work of a group of professional women was the Women's Secretariat kept alive, but during the 1960's spread the view that the time had run out for the Secretariat. In 1965 merged together the Women Workers' Union and woman strong federations such as the Danish Clothing Workers Trade Union and Danish Textile Workers Trade Union and it was the beginning of a solution process that resulted in the decommissioning of the Women's Secretariat in 1970. Helyett Simonsen held the chair from inception in 1949 until her death in 1966, The Women's Secretariat's dynamic frontline fighter, but she had a number of prominent trade union women as partners, including Ella Jensen from the Tobacco Workers' Union and Anny Bengtsson from the Clothing Workers' Union. Another collaborator was Marie Nielsen, Domestic Workers Federation, who succeeded Helyett Simonsen as chairman of the Women's Secretariat. In her capacity as Chair of the Women's Secretariat Helyett Simonsen was appointed in 1950 as member of the Contraceptive Commission, which was set up the same year, just as she came to sit in the Big Women's Commission from its creation in 1965 until her death the following year.
Politically Helyett Simonsen was tied to the Social Democrats. She became in 1951 a member of the board of her local constituency organisation. Also in the Social Democratic context she defended her women's political position and she was a self-penned member of choosing the association's Women's Committee. In 1953 she became chair of the Women's Committee. It was her hope that women may be entrusted to society's most important task: in government, parliament and municipal councils. "Is it not the men who have brought war, accidents and chaos over mankind?", She asked in her usual outspoken way. Then she elected in 1954 to the City Council. She was amongst other things a member of the Hospitals Committee and Decisions Committee, which performed the audit of municipal accounts. Also as a Civic Representative she used her voice. Already in 1957, she had made proposals for free examinations of women for breast cancer, a proposal she repeated at the following year's budget negotiations. She had numerous suggestions for solving the capital's traffic problems. When Helyett Simonsen had a burning issue, she was tireless and persistent and it was probably not without reason that L. Estrup, Mayor of Copenhagen's magistrate district 4, on a budget negotiation spontaneously declared, that "the girl has been to me an expensive acquaintance.". She was also a highly respected and well-liked supervisor of children who were placed under child welfare. In 1963 she received the weekly magazine Hjemmet's Spirit Medal in recognition of the way, in which she took care of this in many ways difficult task. Helyett Simonsen was a member of the City Council until 1962 and again from 1965 to 66 as a replacement. In the obituary in the News they described "Simon" as she was called, as a small, round, bombastic, heartwarming woman with an excess of spirit. She had the courage of her convictions, even when they went against the majority.

Here is an image of her in her workshop.
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File Type: jpg Helyett Simonsen.jpg (35.5 KB, 7 views)
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:52 PM   #4
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

I have been lucky enough to find some other images of Helyett Simonsen.

She remained in Copenhagen throughout the war (so must not have been so Bombastically Trade Unionist during the occupation) and remained unmarried and dedicated to her causes.

The first pair of pictures are of the 40th anniversary of the 10th District Social Democratic Party Board in 1935. The third picture is the Study Group Of The Hatters And Furriers' League 1938-9.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:56 PM   #5
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

Here she is on 24th October 1949, pestering the Justice Minister Niels Busch-Jensen with the rest of the newly formed Women's Secretariat.
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File Type: jpg Justice Minister 24-10-1949.jpg (17.2 KB, 3 views)
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:08 PM   #6
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

Here she is taking part in the May Day demonstration of 1953. She was one of at least 4 speakers at the event.

She is in good company as to her left is Hans Christian Svane Hansen, former Finance Minister and Trade Minister and later Foreign Minister, leader of the Social Democrats and Prime Minister and Erling Kristian Dinesen, 5 term Labour Minister.
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File Type: jpg 1st May 1953 1.jpg (25.4 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 1st May 1953 2.jpg (31.0 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 1st May 1953 3.jpg (24.8 KB, 2 views)
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:16 PM   #7
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

I actually managed to find an image of the 1964 recipient of the Medal on the day of his awarding of it.

Not everyone will recognise the recipient but it is His Royal Highness Hereditary Prince Knud Of Denmark. He received the Medal on 16th June 1964.

Not the 5 sided suspension - but also not the Ladies' Bow.
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File Type: jpg Knud.jpg (28.3 KB, 7 views)
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:48 PM   #8
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

I've also found another recipient, Viggo Steffensen "The Shoemaker" or as he is referred to in the later article "Denmark's Viggo". He was surprised with an award of Hjemmet's Spirit Medal after being recommended for being a really generous, outgoing, warm hearted and selfless member of Fensmark's community.

Unfortunately the year of award is unknown but I would suggest 1965.
The awarding article reads "Hundreds of Magazine readers have in the last year's time nominated friends and family for this little silver medal. On the front is depicted the classic sun and the back bears the owner's name - but it takes a lot in order to obtain it."

The later article celebrates Viggo's 70th birthday and mentions his award of Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.
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File Type: jpg Viggo 1.jpg (120.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Viggo 2.jpg (63.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Viggo 3.jpg (86.3 KB, 1 views)
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:26 PM   #9
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

Here is Heylett in the 40th anniversary of the labour movement (Arbejderbevægelsens) book.
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File Type: jpg HS.jpg (112.8 KB, 1 views)
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:20 PM   #10
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Re: Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

A bit more poking around a year on has revealed a little more. An article by Elisabeth Plum in the October 1984 issue of Worker History #23. Helyett had a song written about her (Not the first time I've found a recipient to be honoured in such a way). Only the second verse was recorded it seems.

"Det danske faglige kvindesekretariat er skabt,
fordi det fremskridtsmæssigt ikke gik så særlig rapt.
Af mænd der var for mange, når det kvindesagen gjaldt,
det har ihvertfald Simon her ved stævnet os fortalt,
og som plaster Fanny Jensen Lindberg gav en fin cigar,
og også fordi Lindberg er for os en lille far.
Men nu får kære Simon altså selv det store mas,
for hun er jo den, som ved, hvordan en sag den skal ta's"

("The Danish professional women's secretariat was created,
because the progress-moderates didn't go so specially rapid.
For men there were too many, when it was women's causes to apply,
It has at any rate Simon here at this rally us foretold,
and which plasters Fanny Jensen Lindberg by giving a fine cigar,
and also because Lindberg is for us a little father.
But now dear Simon also herself the great problem,
for she is yes her, who knows, how a cause should be taken.")

"This song is sung to the melody of "Flickorne Från Småland" (Actually Flickorna I Småland (Girls From Småland), a Swedish tune) at the Nordic study week in 1950. It was a big victory for the women, as the Danish Secretariat had finally become a reality. The song narrates, that the women had had difficulty in being heard in the trade union movement, also when it came to women's causes. But it narrates also, that they had to put their trust in the National Organisation men, that were favourably disposed towards women's causes. Little "Father" Lindberg was then National Organisation Secretary Kai Lindberg, who in the period 1955-66 was a minister in several governments.
The mentioned Simon, that now herself had the great problem with women's causes, was Helyett Simonsen, that was the chairman of the Trade Unions Women's Secretariat, until he death in 1966. Helyett Simonsen was a board member in the Social Democrats for 10 congresses and was later chairman for the Constituency Women's Committee and was also in Copenhagen's Citizen Representation. She was chairman for the Hatters And Furriers' Union and made a living sewing hats for the firm "Schermeister".
In the 1950's could a woman combine the difficulties of a political life with having children and Heylett Simonsen was also an unmarried woman. There were more of the Trade Unions Women's Secretariat women, that were, if they did not have adult children. On that point resembled the most of 1950's and 1960's female National Organisation members, as the married women with small children first became a significant part of the National Organisation's membership in the 1970's. There were many small children mothers on the labour market in the 50's and 60's, but they typically had seasonal work or part-time work and were not unionised. The National Organisation women with children were either single parents, or they were married to low-paid or jobless men and these National Organisation women had a bad time and profited from being Trade Union active.
Helyett Simonsen was the colourful and dynamic main force of the Women's Secretariat, but she was certainly not alone in being active and persistent in the Trade Union of women's work.

Here's that photograph again. This time with a little information. Taken on a weekend course in 1954 and from the personal collection of Ella Jensen.

Also the sheet music for the song.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hel.jpg (72.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg seniorsanger_11.jpg (20.5 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg seniorsanger_12.jpg (15.9 KB, 1 views)
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