• Sweden edition
 
'Nazi-era' names cause climber consternation

'Nazi-era' names cause climber consternation

Published: 12 Aug 2010 13:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Aug 2010 15:01 GMT+02:00

A popular climbing spot in Järfälla in Stockholm has prompted controversy after the crag's climbing routes were given names from Hitler's Germany such as "Kristallnacht" and "The Crematorium".

Swedish historian and sport climber Cordelia Hess discovered that several of the names used for the crag in Gåseborg bore names with a Nazi theme such as "3rd Reich", "Swastika" and "Himmler", according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

"I was there with my friends and doing a bit of climbing, and I thought it felt rather unpleasant to climb through the 'Crematorium' or say that 'now I am going to do Kristallnacht'," Hess told the newspaper.

Cordelia Hess argued to the newspaper that the names trivialise the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust.

But the names are set to stay in place for the time being as it is accepted climbing praxis for the first climbers who tackle and conquer a route to be given the right to name it.

"It is up to the first climber who makes it to name a route," Stockholm climber Erik Djerf told The Local on Thursday. "It is thus that climber, or perhaps the publisher of a local climbing guidebook, who would then be able to change it".

Djerf told The Local that while there is no formal body that approves or rejects names of climbing routes, sites are registered by the Swedish Climbing Association for reasons concerning the public right of access (allemansrätten) and nature conservation.

"There is no board or committee that gives the yay or nay, but perhaps if the names would cause a great deal of offence...The names are in any case often chosen to be deliberately provocative," he said.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:01 August 12, 2010 by Gletta
Perhaps Cordelia should change her name as well
15:17 August 12, 2010 by xenyasai
@Gletta: And why is that?

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Cordelia
16:19 August 12, 2010 by Audrian
I find this scandalous. Where are the police and culture institutions?
19:03 August 12, 2010 by Gletta
Oh dear - not Cordelia - Hess - bit ironic that that was the name of Hitler's deputy for many years
20:26 August 12, 2010 by wxman
Good catch, Gletta. I too always enjoy a big bowl hypocracy when it's dished out by those who would control every aspect of our lives. They feel a great deal of self-satisfaction telling us what's right and wrong from their vast font of superior wisdom.
21:29 August 12, 2010 by ehwhat?
So, some puerile climbers chose to demonstrate their lack of maturity by naming the ascents after the Nazis? How is this news? Those of us who seriously climb are constantly dealing with unsafe idiots of limited intelligence and imagination. Perhaps if one of them had fallen on its head before the naming, that might be news. No to mention a good cautionary tale. But this hardly rates.

Official names are disregarded all the time by any number of climbers. Indeed the choice of name used can quickly identify from whence you came. Don't like the name? Don't use it. Or better yet, choose a deeply disrespectful name for the climbing club that the idiots belonged to and use that for every ascent (just change the number from 1-N to keep them straight).
17:35 August 13, 2010 by namso
I was hoping for less than a dozen holocaust movies this year, now it will be holocaust all over the cinemas to compensate for this.
17:43 August 13, 2010 by donnick
Wow! I didn't know neo Nazis were so industrious that they'd climb mountains! I assumed they'd be busy beating up old ladies and printing out hate propaganda.
21:16 August 13, 2010 by Syftfel
It is precisely for similar reasons that I get the shivvers, and find it disconcerting, to saunter down Olof Palmes Gata on Norrmalm. In other words where does one draw the line on this type of reasoning? "I'm opposed to the Monarchy, I would never set foot on Drottnnggatan". "Karl the XII was a conquering, savage, brute. Heaven forbid I should have to change buses on Karl XII Torg." Someone will invariably always have a complaint over any given name. "I'm a vegetarian. I'm offended every time I go to Djurgården"
21:39 August 13, 2010 by Toonie
Where does one draw the line on this type of reasoning?

What kind of reasoning would that be? Naming is a process of honouring. Olof Palme because he was Swedish Prime Minister respected around the world (though, as we know, held in contempt by some sections of society in Sweden). There's no evidence, obviously, that Swedes who claim contempt for Charles XII now wouldn't have regarded him a hero had they been his contemporaries. And vegetarians might be offended by a park named for living animals? No one's asking to eat them. If you can't see why people would be offended by naming climbing spots after Nazis, you lack education, information and imagination. It's not about politics. It's about systematic, murderous racists. It's not just about Jews. Just about every European south, west and east of Trelleborg could tell you why, because they have living relatives who know. And they don't think it's clever or funny for 'do-nothings-when-it-matters' to dismiss such symbols as unimportant. Get it now?
02:14 August 14, 2010 by Karenrae
I agree with Toonie. Naming places using Nazi names should be condemned by anyone with any knowledge of the horrors that the Nazis committed. Sweden's neutrality and possible aid to the Nazis during WW11 still rankles with many. If Swedes accept this without some outcry it only furthers the thoughts of cowardice by others throughout the world.
11:15 August 14, 2010 by cogito
"Sweden's neutrality and possible aid to the Nazis..."

"Possible"??? Is there doubt?

The irony is that the state forbids certain names parents choose for their children. Not too long ago, a couple wishing to name their baby Elvis were denied that right by the authorities.
12:58 August 14, 2010 by israeli
only in sweden. only in sweden.

why am i not surprised?
10:51 August 25, 2010 by Britswedeguy
Clearly these were jokingly named by climbers - get a life and lighten up!
Today's headlines
Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability. READ () »

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Advertisement:
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

720
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com