Sweden reflects on Anna Lindh’s death

Sweden reflects on Anna Lindh's death
On the fifth anniversary of the assassination of foreign minister Anna Lindh, Sweden is reflecting more on the legacy of her work in politics than the tragic circumstances surrounding her death.

Lindh’s name lives on in a number of foundations, research programmes, and awards.

“She’s very much alive in the party; at the same time there’s been a very long period of mourning,” Social Democratic Party Secretary Marita Ulvskog told the TT news agency.

“But we’re beginning to reach a point where what she said and did is being utilized.”

On the Social Democrats’ website it is possible to order the ‘Palme-package’, created in memory of assassinated Prime Minister Olof Palme. For the last year a Lindh-package has also been available.

The Lindh-package offers membership in the party, a book, a picture of Anna Lindh, a report from the annual Anna Lindh seminars, a newsletter, and the party’s international programme.

It’s meant to provide a portrait of the person and her career, tracking her development from the Social Democratic youth organization (SSU) in Enköping to the position of Deputy Mayor of Stockholm and high level ministerial posts. She was also regarded as an insprirational figure for younger politicians.

Neither Ulvskog nor the party’s press secretary could say however whether there had been much demand for the package named after the woman who had been tipped to take over as party leader after Göran Persson.

Her memory is also carried on by the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund, which awards annual prizes for remarkable contributions to human rights. The Fund has also helped compile an archive of speeches and articles penned by the former foreign minister.

To coincide with the anniversary of her death, the Fund has organized a seminar focusing on the 2001 Macedonia crisis, where Lindh is considered to have played an important role in hindering the outbreak of a new Balkan War.

The politician’s legacy is also evident in Alexandria in Egypt, where the Anna Lindh Foundation is based.

The foundation was set up after her death and has little to do with Lindh other than in name, according to retired ambassador Lars Bjarme.

“But the foundation works with something in which she was very interested: a dialogue between Europe and countries in the Middle East,” he said.