• Sweden edition
 
REMEMBERING OLOF PALME
Swedes reflect on the death of Olof Palme

Swedes reflect on the death of Olof Palme

Published: 28 Feb 2011 09:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Feb 2011 09:39 GMT+01:00

A quarter century after the assassination of former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, contributor Anita Badejo talks to Swedes about their memories of the killing and how it affected the country.

Palme was shot dead on February 28th, 1986 while walking home from the movies in central Stockholm with his wife, Lisbet Palme.

His killer has yet to be found, and the shock of having the country's top politician killed while strolling through the streets of the capital had a profound effect – both then and now – on Swedish society

Standing just steps away from the site where Palme was shot, 51-year-old Katarina Sjöndeson of Stockholm, explains that Palme's assassination served as a wake-up call for the country.

“We sort of realized that violence also occurs here in Sweden– violent death,” she says.

“We had never had a politician before that was murdered in Sweden, so that kind of shocked us… But, we should be used to it because we are watching television all the time. So, obviously it’s here as well as everywhere in the world.”

Bitte Lundborg, 68, also of Stockholm echoes Sjöndeson’s statements, asserting that Palme’s death made Swedes realize they weren’t as “innocent” as they had thought themselves to be.

“We thought it was a very open-minded society and things like that couldn’t really happen,” Lundborg says, adding that the assassination is “like a wound” in Sweden’s history.

Standing just a few steps away from the site of Palme’s death on what is today Olof Palmes Gata, 63-year-old Stockholm resident Harry Granberg says he believes Sweden has become a more “closed” country since the event.

“We have been more like other countries [now], I think,” he says, after noting that issues of safety and security which were less often considered by Swedes are now concerns for them as well, and not only citizens of other nations.

While there seems to be much consensus that Palme’s death affected Sweden deeply, there is less agreement over whether the case of his assassination should be left open for further investigation.

Due in part to the ongoing Palme investigation, Sweden recently altered laws governing the statute of limitations on especially serious crimes. As a result, the case will remain open beyond the previous limit of 25 years in hopes that his killer may still one day be found.

“It better be open,” says Rolf Vandenbrink, 52, of Stockholm. Vandenbrink cites the technological advancements of the past quarter-century as reason to believe Palme’s killer could still be tracked down with the aid of new skills and equipment.

Anette Zellen, 47, of Sollentuna is similarly hopeful.

“Why should they close it?” she asks.

“I mean, they maybe can find someone who is responsible for it.”

Yet, others believe the time has come to end the search.

“I don’t think they’re ever going to find who did it,” says Steven, a 32-year-old Stockholm resident.

“For me, it doesn’t really matter who did it or not. It’s so old and you can’t change anything after so many years. I don’t see the point. Even if they would find the killer or know who it is, I don’t think it would matter so much."

Peter, a 55-year-old Stockholm resident, also believes the case of Palme’s killing should be closed, but for more optimistic reasons.

“They probably can close it. Then, maybe someone will come out and say, ‘Well, I did it,’ or ‘I know who did it’,” Peter explains.

“But [if the investigation remains open], that person may still be afraid they would be caught and might not be interested in stepping forward.”

Related links:

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Erik the Holy's skull and the crown, believed to be Sweden's oldest. Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

King Erik the Holy died 854 years ago, but scientists have just unveiled his skull at Uppsala Cathedral. READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

Swedish girls report more eating problems
Teen girls. File photo: Chloe Chaplin/Flickr

Swedish girls report more eating problems

A youth wellbeing report from Save the Children found that more teenage girls than in previous surveys reported having an eating disorder. READ () »

'Zlatan will be back for finals': PSG coach
Photo: AP

'Zlatan will be back for finals': PSG coach

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc said on Tuesday that he believed Swedish goal machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic will play again before the end of the season. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Advertisement:
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
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
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 »

712
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