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City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally

Published: 26 Aug 2014 09:52 GMT+02:00

When The Local contacted Vice Chairman of the Norrköping city board, Fredrik Bergqvist, things were already heating up in town.
 
"I can already see the police horses as we speak," he said.
 
"This is a very unusual sight for our town indeed."
 
On Tuesday, the far-right Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti) has police permission to hold a rally from 10am to midday in the central square, Tyska Torget (in English: the German Plaza). 
 
In the hopes of sending an even stronger message, the town hall will be playing the theme music from Schindler's List on the 80 bells in the tower, which Bergqvist assured are extremely capable of playing such a melody.
 
 
"This is a symbol for tolerance and to show that we have a welcoming society. We're playing the theme from Schindler's List because it's a symbol for what's happened in European history," he explained. 
 
But he's not just referring to World War II.
 
"Norrköping has been an open society since the middle ages. We had a big German population in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Scots came here too, there were people from the Netherlands and Belgium in the 16th century... and it's always continued."
 
"We were also one of the first places in Sweden where Jews were allowed to settle and start businesses," he added.
 
While the Social Democrats hold the majority of support in town, both their party and Bergqvist's Moderates have made the unusual move of joining forces against the Party of the Swedes, issuing a joint statement in support of the town hall's decision. 
 
"We totally agree on this one," he explained. 
 
"And it's absolutely imperative to have these discussions. When there are extreme movements, the borders of acceptable actions and thinking can shift. And when that happens, racism can become more accepted sooner or later. That's something we're not going to allow."
 
The music will be played before and after the far-right party's talks, as officials said they don't want to disturb the talks, rather to "highlight the fact that everyone is equal". 
 
Meanwhile, police were already on hand on Tuesday morning to keep counter-demonstrators at bay, hoping to avoid a repeat of the weekend's activity when ten people were injured as counter protesters and police horses clashed at the party's rally in Malmö.
 
Playing church bells during neo-Nazi rallies in Sweden has become commonplace since May this year, when Jönköping's church rang the bells in alarm for the first time since World War II broke out. 
 

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Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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