The Swedes who broadcast for the Nazis

Swedish-language radio programmes broadcast from Kaliningrad during the Second World War enabled Swedes to listen to the views of Nazi Germany in their own lingua franca.

Approximately 30 pro-Nazi Swedes lent their voices to Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda machine, according to a new book by Niclas Sennerteg.

Despite Sweden’s neutral status, Sveriges Radio estimates that a tenth of the Swedish population tuned in to the broadcasts from Radio Königsberg on a weekly basis.

Niclas Sennerteg maintains that the role of Radio Königsberg has been underplayed by historians. In the book the author takes a closer look at who the Swedish counterparts to Britain’s Lord Haw Haw were, and how they were recruited.

The people behind the voices all remained anonymous at the time. They included, for example, the actor Gösta Richter, who also starred in a German movie called The Red Terror.

The programmes began in late 1940, booming out 20 minutes of pro-German news and views. As the war went on the Swedish-language broadcasts grew ever more popular. They became more numerous and longer in duration.

Radio Königsberg did not stop broadcasting in Swedish until just before the end of the war.

None of those involved were punished for their collaboration.