• Sweden edition
 
Op-ed
'We feel the Nazi frost in the air': Sweden
Counter-demonstrators dressed as the henchman held placards that read "Hate everyone, kill everything" as the Party of the Swedes marched in Jönköping on May 1st. File: TT

'We feel the Nazi frost in the air': Sweden

Published: 09 May 2014 10:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 May 2014 15:22 GMT+02:00

On May 9th, 1945 there were celebrations across Europe as the Third Reich capitulated and the second world war finally ended. Last week, some 200 Nazis from the Party of the Swedes demonstrated in Jönköping. They protested against the EU and brandished the slogan "Sweden for the Swedes". Through the duration of the demonstration, church bells rang out across the southern Swedish town.

It was the first time since 1939 that the churches rang their bells to warn of danger. 

IN PICTURES: The Party of the Swedes meet resistance during its Jönköping march

School students across our country have this spring been met by Nazi hate propaganda. Some dismiss the scrawled swastiskas and hateful words as pranks. But we feel the frost in the air. 

In Hungary, the Jobbik party agitates against Roma and Jews. In Greece, the Nazi party Golden Dawn attacks refugees. In the latest report from the Swedish anti-racism foundation Expo, researchers warned that Swedish racists have become more and more organized, reaching record levels of activity. These movements exist across Europe and their primary goal is to crush democracy. 

A Swedish court recently sentenced three members of the Nazi Swedish Resistance Movement (Svenska motståndsrörelsen - SMR) to prison for their part in the violence during the anti-racism demonstration in Stockholm neighbourhood Kärrtorp. SMR wants to overthrow our democratic society and install a dictatorship. Their ideology is built on a hodgepodge of racial biology and conspiracy theories. 

The emergence of violent right-wing extremism is a threat to our security which EU member states must take seriously in the utmost.

The European Commission three years ago set up a programme called the Radicalization Awareness Network, which brings together local activists working against violent extremism. The network is on the ground in all EU member states. There are plans to found a European knowledge bank next year to collate all the information.

At the same time, Sweden has taken the lead in a two-year project, financed by the commission, against right-wing extremism. Sweden is taking part alongside eight other EU countries plus Norway. A lessons-learnt conference will be held in Stockholm on June 25th-26th, and both of us will be in attendance. 

The findings from the project, which have been written by European researchers, warn us that right-wing extremists now have greater access to weapons. The findings also warn us that they are forging alliances using online fora - which means that the threat is veiled. There is a clear difference between the extremists' view of who the "enemy" is when we look at right-wing milieu in western and eastern Europe. In the "east" the enemies are Roma, Jews, and homo, bi and transsexuals. In the "west", the target is more often than not Islam. 

The project reports have also found that the right-wing extremists do not shirk from cross-border cooperation. A clear example was SMR's demonstration in support for Golden Dawn last year, which coincided with the anniversary of Kristallnacht , which set events in motion that would end in the Holocaust. 

Watch the counter-demonstrators as SVP march to the Greek embasssy in Stockholm

The reports have also found indications that key actors among right-wing extremist movement do not have access to a lot of information. That is why we'd like all EU members to put in place national action plans with preventative measures, and that they set up support plans for people who want to leave extremism behind them. 

In Sweden, the Party of the Swedes have candidates running for municipal office in 35 locations across the country. In the upcoming European parliament elections, parties such as Golden Dawn and Jobbik could end up with strong representation in the parliament. The German neo-Nazi NDP and similar parties in Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria are also running for elected offices. 

Sixty-nine years after the end of the second world war, Hitler's ideological heirs could march into our elected legislative assemblies.

It's high time that more Europeans in positions of power wake up. They have to realize that Nazism is again mobilizing and it is growing among us. We hope that our conference in June in Stockholm will be a wake-up call and that we together can identify a powerful strategy to combat these dangerous developments. 

Cecilia Malmström, Sweden's  EU Commissioner and Birgitta Ohlsson, Swedish Minister for EU and Democracy

This op-ed was also published in Swedish in the national daily Svenska Dagbladet.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag meets children in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. READ  

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

A mystery airplane that passed over Swedish airspace recently has been revealed as an American aircraft, sources revealed on Thursday. READ  

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Sweden's three elite boarding schools can no longer charge tuition fees, the government announced on Thursday, in a string of changes following a two-year review. READ  

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace
Photos: TT

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated that there are four steps to achieving peace in Gaza, and that it begins with removing the blockade - which has "played into Hamas' hands". READ  

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Cecilia Malmström has been nominated to be the European Commissioner for another five years, Sweden's prime minister announced on Thursday. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party
Conchita Wurst belts out a ballad. Photo: Rebecca Jacobs

In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party

With Stockholm's Pride Week in full swing, The Local's Rebecca Jacobs heads on down to the traditional Historic Party to take in the colours, Conchita, and the community. READ  

Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two people were taken to hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning after a fire began in their central Stockholm apartment. READ  

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall
Photo: Jim Cole/TT

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall

Swedish supermarket chain Coop has recalled its in-store brand of fresh hamburger meat after a routine check revealed traces of salmonella in the meat. READ  

What's On in Sweden
Photo: Roger Vikström/TT

What's On in Sweden

It's Pride Week in Stockholm. Find out more about the celebrations (including the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia) as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities. READ  

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'
Hillevi Engström and protesters against Uganda's anti-gay laws. Photos: Maja Suslin/Ben Curtis/TT

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'

Sweden has resumed sending development aid funds to Uganda, after suspending payouts back in March due to "anti-gay legislation". READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
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

751
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
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
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