• Sweden edition
 
Sweden mourns death of Anna Lindh ten years on

Sweden mourns death of Anna Lindh ten years on

Published: 10 Sep 2013 15:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Sep 2013 15:33 GMT+02:00

For Swedes, September 11th 2003 is a date etched in their memory much like November 22nd 1963 is for Americans. Lindh, who was 46 when she was killed, was minister for foreign affairs and widely tipped to become Sweden's first female prime minister.

"Of course Anna Lindh would have succeeded me," said then Prime Minister Göran Persson in a new SVT documentary about Lindh.

IN PICTURES: See the life and times of Anna Lindh

But the events of September 10th and 11th changed all that and plunged her party, the Social Democrats, into a crisis from which they've arguably never recovered.

Lindh was stabbed while shopping for clothes in a Stockholm department store by Mijailo Mijailovic, a then 24-year-old Serb who has since renounced his Swedish citizenship. She succumbed to her injuries the following day in the first political assassination in Sweden since Olof Palme was gunned down in 1986.

Mijailovic, who stabbed Lindh repeatedly in the arms, chest and abdomen, had a history of psychiatric problems and claimed during his three trials that voices in his head told him to attack.

He later claimed he had made that up, and said he invoked the "nonsense" claim in the hopes of avoiding prison by being declared mentally unstable.

"I didn't hear voices. That was nothing but empty talk," Mijailovic, who is serving a life sentence, told the Expressen newspaper.

In a new documentary about Lindh to be aired on SVT on the 10th anniversary of her death, Persson admits he'd made his mind up on that fateful September 10th day that he was going to resign in 2004 with Lindh his chosen successor.

"Anna had got herself into a position in the party where she was a very bright shining star," said Mona Sahlin, who took over from Persson instead, and led the party during its disappointing 2010 election loss.

"It's not that the party would have taken a dramatically different direction or that Sweden would have been different. But it would have been a chance for the first woman leader, if she had started as prime minister, to be in a situation where she was regarded as increasingly obvious (to win the 2006 election)," said Sahlin.

IN PICTURES: See Monday's memorial service in central Stockholm

Lindh's death meant Persson, who described her murder as "beyond belief", led the Social Democrats into the 2006 election defeat before stepping down in 2007.

"Sweden has lost one of its most important representatives. It feels unreal, it is difficult to truly understand," said Persson in the wake of his colleague's murder.

Much like Palme's murder 17 years earlier, Lindh wasn't protected by Sweden's security service (Säpo) which considered her to be a low-risk target. Palme famously refused bodyguard protection on the night of his death.

The agency has since said they have learnt from Lindh's assassination with increased security now the norm for all prominent Swedish politicians.

SVT's documentary, made by Tom Alandh, also reveals her concerns for her family, and in particular her two sons.

However, those fears are unlikely to have deterred her from pursuing the highest office in the land according to a former colleague.

"She spoke reluctantly about it and that of what it could mean for the boys. Had she been asked (to be prime minister) then I think she would have been up for it," said Jan Eliasson, former Swedish ambassador to the United States in the documentary.

A memorial service for Anna Lindh took place in Katarina's church in Stockholm's Södermalm on Monday, attended by former prime minister Ingvar Carlsson, Mona Sahlin, and Benny Andersson from Abba. (See pictures from Monday's memorial)

On Wednesday there will be an evening in her honour for the public taking place in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm, opposite the shopping mall Lindh was fatally attacked, starting at 6:30pm. Among those attending will be current Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Social Democratic leader Stefan Löfven, and former party

leader Mona Sahlin, with music provided by the Benny Andersson orchestra.

The SVT documentary "Anna Lindh 1957-2003" will air on September 11th at 8pm on SVT 1.

TT/The Local/pr/AFP

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Lööf laughs off Löfven's 'comical' advances
Annie Lööf speaks to the press after her meeting with the parliamentry speaker on Wednesday. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Lööf laughs off Löfven's 'comical' advances

Centre Party leader Annie Lööf reiterated on Thursday morning her reluctance to cooperate across bloc lines with Stefan Löfven, as the Social Democrat leader renews his attempts to form a new government. READ  

Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job
Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder celebrates Sunday's election result. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job

As Sweden’s third largest party, the Sweden Democrats are “entitled” to be given one of a handful of prestigious parliamentary speaker jobs, says party secretary Björn Söder. READ  

National
Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'
Photo: Peder Skrivares school

Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'

School inspectors are investigating after an initiation ceremony at a high school in Varberg in south west Sweden left four girls in hospital. READ  

National
Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail
Peter Sunde. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail

The brother of Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has questioned the conditions of his brother's Swedish jail, slamming both the institution and the guards. READ  

Elections 2014
Fresh election fears in divided Sweden
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson may not support a Social Democrat budget. Photo: TT

Fresh election fears in divided Sweden

UPDATED: The leaders of Sweden's main political parties have been called to parliament as speculation grows that the Sweden Democrats could hold the key to new elections. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... the Stockholm collection
Photo: Imagebank Sweden

Introducing... the Stockholm collection

Moving to Stockholm, or just dreaming about it? Either way, this is your ultimate guide: for housing, finances, insurance, business, and so much more. READ  

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

Time for some luxury this week - we're heading to a sprawling Eskilstuna property with a location and view to die for. READ  

National
Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop
A cashier in a Coop supermarket: Photo: TT

Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop

A photo of a till receipt with the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil" printed on it has gone viral in Sweden, with supermarket chain Coop launching an internal investigation. READ  

Society
Sweden tops 'financial well-being' rankings
Sweden's family-friendly policies contribute to well-being. Photo: TT

Sweden tops 'financial well-being' rankings

Swedes have fewer money concerns than people from any other European country, according to the latest major report on global well-being. READ  

National
King Carl XVI Gustaf 'unhurt' after crash
The King of Sweden. Photo: TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf 'unhurt' after crash

UPDATED: Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf has been involved in a car accident but is unhurt, the Royal family's press office has confirmed to The Local. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Blog updates

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " READ »

 

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

862
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN