Swedish kids invited to neo-Nazi summer camp
Published: 14 Jun 2011 12:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Jun 2011 12:10 GMT+02:00
A Swedish neo-Nazi political party is offering children free admission to a camp scheduled to be held in a secret location in southern Sweden this summer. But not everyone is welcome to attend.
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“Targeting young people is a very conscious strategy of these organisations. It is easier to reach young people with Nazi-propaganda before they have really made their mind up on what Nazism stands for,” journalist Johannes Jakobsson told The Local.
Jakobsson, who writes for Swedish magasine Expo, which studies and maps anti-democratic, right-wing extremist and racist tendencies in society, said there is little doubt about the party's heritage.
“The party leadership is the same as the old National Socialistic Front (National Socialistisk Front – NSF), they represent an ethnic nationalism and they believe in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” he said.
In July, the party is organising a gathering for “all nationalists” under the name of Nordisk Vision 2011 ('Nordic Vision 2011').
The camp, which is described as a “summer-camp with drive” has on its agenda “several interesting lectures, speeches, workshops, competitions, self-defence classes, airsoft, rounders and a lot more,” according to the party's website.
The location of the camp is a secret as organisers fear harassment.
“We have a fixed gathering point but from there the directions are secret. We can’t make the location official after all the harassment we have been subjected to in the past,” organiser Andreas Carlsson told Dagens Nyheter (DN).
According to Carlsson, there is no political agenda to the gathering. He told daily DN that the aim is to “have fun, creating kinship and meeting new people".
Carlsson told daily Aftonbladet that the focus for the kids would be on “having fun” but that everyone will be able to take part in a debate on the Sunday where one of the topics will be “Who is a Swede and who isn’t?”.
But the organisers would not agree that the camp itself is targeting young people, despite Swedish media calling it a "Nazi children's camp".
They are marketing the camp as having activities for both “young and old” and claim that children under 15 go in for free as it is a family event and they want to subsidize the price for families.
However, that doesn't mean that everyone is invited.
“You can have a foreign name, but if it is from outside Europe it becomes more difficult. And we don’t necessarily see someone as Swedish just because they have a Swedish citizenship,” Carlsson told DN.
Jakobsson says that there is no reason to doubt that the participants won't be paddling, playing rounders and taking part in all the activities advertised on the webpage.
However, he doesn't believe that the gathering is without a political agenda.
“They have said that they will have political speeches and discussions so when they say that it’s not political they are contradicting themselves,” he told The Local.
The Party of Swedes party is formerly known as the People's Front (Folkfronten) and was founded by members of the former National Socialist Front (Nationalsocialistisk front, NSF) in November 2008.
At the time it dissolved, NSF was the largest neo-Nazi political party in Sweden. It became a political party on April 20th, 1999, the 110th birthday of Adolf Hitler.