• Sweden's news in English
 

'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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Flashy balconies force Swedes to wear sunglasses indoors
Photo: TT

Flashy balconies force Swedes to wear sunglasses indoors

The balconies on a new apartment block in Sundbyberg in Stockholm are reflecting light in a way that is dazzling neighbours and forcing them to wear sunglasses. READ  

FBI funding Sweden 'terror' research

FBI funding Sweden 'terror' research

Research grants to fund the study of controversial interrogation methods at the University of Gothenburg have come from America's Federal Bureau of Investigation, it has emerged. READ  

Swedish WW2 soldier buried 70 yrs after death
Vetlanda church. Photo: Karin Thuresson

Swedish WW2 soldier buried 70 yrs after death

A Swedish soldier has been buried 70 years after he died fighting with Finland against Soviet troops during World War Two. Remarkably, his sister was still alive to attend the service. READ  

World's first limousine snowplough for hire
Håkan Andersson's limousine snowplough. Photo: Haga Limo

World's first limousine snowplough for hire

A businessman in central Sweden is advertising what he claims is the world’s first Hummer limousine snowplough for hire on Blocket, Sweden’s version of eBay. READ  

Breastmilk drug could fight resistant bacteria

Breastmilk drug could fight resistant bacteria

Swedish researchers may have found a solution to the growing resistance to antibiotics in the most unlikely of places — breastmilk. READ  

Video
Swedish baby wins TV fame in US
A screenshot of Alma and Maja before the collision from America's Funniest Home Videos

Swedish baby wins TV fame in US

A Swedish baby and her King Charles Spaniel scored more than three million views on America’s Funniest Home Videos in just one day, after the baby's father sent a video of the then six-month-old being bowled over by the puppy. READ  

Royal couple blames tax woes on identity theft
Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill in December 2014. Photo: TT

Royal couple blames tax woes on identity theft

Chris O'Neill, the British-American banker married to Sweden’s Princess Madeleine, has admitted to having had problems over unpaid US taxes, explaining that he had been the victim of identity theft. READ  

Up to four subs feared in Stockholm waters
An enlarged look at the mystery sighting of a suspected submarine in the Stockholm archipelago in October. Photo: TT

Up to four subs feared in Stockholm waters

Sweden’s armed forces now estimate that as many as four submarines were operating in the Stockholm Archipelago in mid-October, the country’s Dagens Industri (DI) newspaper reported on Saturday. READ  

Sweden mulls ticket controls for jihadis
The war in Syria and Iraq has attracted many young Swedish Muslims. Photo: STRINGER/Scanpix

Sweden mulls ticket controls for jihadis

Sweden could introduce controls over airline ticket sales and border crossings as part of a new anti-terror strategy aimed at preventing citizens going abroad to fight for extremist groups. READ  

'Frozen' hanging woman died 'climbing fence'
The fence in Norrköping where the woman was found hanging. Photo: TT

'Frozen' hanging woman died 'climbing fence'

A woman found hanging dead on a fence in Norrköping, about one hour south of Stockholm, was pierced by razor-sharp spikes, but probably ended up there 'by accident', police have concluded. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Meet the 'beggars' buttoning up immigration critics
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden this week
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Features
Learn Sweden's bizarre dating lingo
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Gallery
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Blog updates

23 January

Editor’s blog, January 23rd (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday from The Local’s team in Stockholm. We can’t wait for the weekend, when we’re planning..." READ »

 

14 January

Adjectives and nouns (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hi there, The other day I got a question about combining adjectives and nouns: When you have a..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
'Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet'
Society
Why Sweden's viral 'genital' video is getting an English remake
Gallery
IN PICTURES: January snow snaps
National
Why does Sweden's Luleå have a giant ice beaver?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who are Sweden's richest one percent?
Business & Money
How a classic Swedish snack got a revamp for 'busy' Stockholmers
Lifestyle
The Local's top Swedish acts for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Årets Bild photography prize winners
Business & Money
'I met my Swedish man in Tokyo's first Ikea store'
Gallery
Property of the week: A cozy apartment in Bromma, Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: January 17th - 18th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish gravad lax
Lifestyle
Four hot Swedish home design trends
National
How The Local's video on a strange Swedish sound went viral
Gallery
People-watching: January 14th
National
The Local's guide to Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo magazine
National
The Local talks to Sweden's Home Affairs Minister about Paris attacks
Business & Money
Will Spotify launch on stock market after users rocket?
Accelerated
Texans and Swedes to play ice instruments
Gallery
Property of the week: An 18th century mansion in Stockholm
Business & Money
'Snowboarding drew me to work in chilly Sweden'
National
Are Sweden's royals moving to London?
National
How Sweden's Charlie Hebdo rally broke a winter protest record
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's 'no pants' subway day 2015
Gallery
People-watching: January 10th - 11th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Stockholm holds Charlie Hebdo rally
National
Have you seen Sweden's viral children's 'genital' song?
National
Mother of 'Superman' victim warns of ecstasy drug trend in Sweden
National
Are wolves on the loose in the Swedish capital?
Gallery
People-watching: January 7th
National
Stockholmers discuss why they joined global Paris shooting vigils
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's reaction to Paris magazine shootings
National
The best Swedish songs of the month
National
Ten Swedes who made a lasting impact on the United States
National
The Local meets northern Sweden's frozen Roma beggars
Sponsored Article
Everything you need to know about moving to Stockholm
Sponsored Article
How to jump-start your career in southern Sweden
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

1,111
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options