• 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
Older Swedes 'see the benefits of immigration'
Older Swedes are more positive about immigration than their European counterparts. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson / TT

Older Swedes 'see the benefits of immigration'

Swedish pensioners are significantly more positive about immigration than other older people in Europe, according to a new study from the World Bank. READ  

Increase in violence in Swedish asylum centres
The surge of migrants into Europe fleeing war-torn regions has increased the pressure on the Swedish migration system. Photo: Soeren Bidstup / AFP / Scanpix Denmark

Increase in violence in Swedish asylum centres

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has so far this year recorded almost as many reports of threats and violence in asylum accommodation as throughout the whole of 2014, according to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. READ  

Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit
Rain in Stockholm. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Wet July dampens Swedes' summer spirit

Swedes complaining about the disappointing summer were vindicated after meterologists revealed on Friday that July indeed finished wetter – but warmer – than normal. READ  

Swedes get set for new money, money, money
Christina Wejshammar of Sweden's central bank. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Swedes get set for new money, money, money

A new smartphone app is set to help Swedes navigate the biggest switch in bank notes the country has ever seen with only two months to go before the new cash is introduced. READ  

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine
These are not the bananas on trial. Photo: Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX

Bananas free Swedish man from speeding fine

A Swedish driver has escaped speeding tickets in court – because the offender was eating a banana. If that sounds bananas to you, keep reading. READ  

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace
Schörling suspects that the swine, which have a value of around 65,000 kronor, were stolen. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/SCANPIX

Swedish farm mystery as pigs vanish without trace

UPDATED: A Swedish farmer is mystified about the disappearance of 64 pigs from his farmyard in the town of Vingåker, central Sweden. READ  

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police
Snoop Dogg in concert in Uppsala. Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say police

Initial tests suggest that US rapper Snoop Dogg was under the influence when he was arrested by Swedish police after performing at a gig last weekend, a police spokesman told The Local on Friday. READ  

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts
The Malmberget mine in northern Sweden. Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi/TT

Mining behind Swedish 'earthquake' say experts

On Friday Sweden awoke to news of the second earthquake in less than a week, this time in the far north of the country. But a seismologist told The Local that the tremors were the result of mining activity. READ  

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force
Swedish police are struggling to attract people from foreign backgrounds. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Concerns over 'too Swedish' police force

UPDATED: Swedish police academies expressed concern on Friday over a sharp decline in the number of foreign-born future officers. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party
Swedish crayfish party. Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se

How to throw your own Swedish crayfish party

August crayfish parties are one of the highlights of the Swedish calendar and appeal to people of all ages. Food writer John Duxbury shares his best tips with The Local for making your own crayfish party a success. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Technology
Modern mugging: Swedish thieves use smartphone app to rob man
Lifestyle
Five fun festivals to get you partying in Sweden this week
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
National
How to become a Swedish woman
Blog updates

31 July

Editor’s blog, July 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As the Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off this week, we spoke to the chairman of..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
National
Why has Snoop Dogg said he will never return to Sweden?
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
National
Prince Nicolas enjoys first summer
National
Meet the amazing Swedish granny who loves theme parks
National
Stockholm to host Eurovision 2016
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
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

3,274
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