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Swedish politician sings Hitler's praises

David Landes · 18 Jun 2009, 16:49

Published: 18 Jun 2009 16:49 GMT+02:00

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“Adolf Hitler built motorways and that turned around the German economy. But things got worse for some people,” said Karl-Göran Välivaara during a meeting of the Norrbotten County Council in Gällivare, according to the Norrbottens Kuriren newspaper.

The remarks came in the context of a debate about the council’s master plan for 2010-2012 and were meant to serve as an example of a successful economic stimulus measure.

Välivaara’s complimentary words about the former leader of Nazi Germany prompted a sharp rebuttal from Social Democratic council member Kent Ögren.

“You’re talking about a man who dedicated himself to ethnic cleansing,” said Ögren.

Välivaara then tried to defend his comments, arguing he was not trying to honour Hitler.

But Ögren was unimpressed.

“You’re commending Hitler for building roads instead of talking about the madness he perpetrated,” the Social Democrat replied, according to the newspaper.

Välivaara then accused Ögren of being a poor student of history.

“You don’t know your history. Hitler built the roads in 1935, but the war started in 1939,” said the Christian Democratic politician.

Defending his comments on Thursday in Aftonbladet, Välivaara explained he was simply citing historical examples of successful government spending initiatives.

“The building of the motorways was a good thing. We still drive on them today. What he did later could hardly have been worse. But he got what he deserved in the end,” he told the newspaper.

Story continues below…

Välivaara also clarified what he meant by “things got worse for some people”.

“The Jews had it worse. They were oppressed throughout the 1930s and the oppression culminated in the Night of the Broken Glass in 1938,” he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:13 June 18, 2009 by Brugge
Sounds like Ögren is making a big deal of nothing in order to smear Mr. Välivaara.
19:53 June 18, 2009 by Andy from NYC
Brugge--do you live in a cave or did you sleep through the last 100 years?

It is idiotic comments like Välivaara's that compound antisemitism. If one were to give Mr. V the benefit of the doubt, one should send him to Politician's School where they could teach him not to compliment one of the most evil people who ever lived. Or tell him to get a job in the private sector.

PS--Hej Mr. V, I think the oppression culminated when 6 million of their relatives were killed during the war.....................................................
20:16 June 18, 2009 by Uncle
To smear Mr. Välivaara? To smear? Leave alone the fact that Hitler caused deaths of 50 million. Forget about the fact that he eliminated 8 million people from babies to old women in gas chambers.

What Mr, Välivaara remembers is that Hitler built roads. What a genius. BTW, he built the roads in order to move the army faster, not to improve the life of Germans. Perhaps Mr. Välivaara shall recall the fact that Hitler also was a painter and that he prepared the best spaghetti. What an idiot. Together with Brugge.
20:26 June 18, 2009 by Greg in Canada
"But things got worse for some people"

Classical understatement regarding things getting worse for "some people" - like the six million jews, gypsies, gays and political activists who went to the gas chamber.

Yes, it is true that hitler did build the autobahn and did turn around the German economy - but then he promptly led the world into a war that cost thirty million lives.

What the politician said isn't untrue about the roads and economy, it's just politically incorrect to talk about Hitler, even after all this time.
20:59 June 18, 2009 by Coalbanks
...and Mussolini made the Italian trains run on time!
21:25 June 18, 2009 by Dazzler
...and Obama took over General Motors!
22:20 June 18, 2009 by Random Guy
....and China buys Volvo.

....and Norway buys SAAB.
22:25 June 18, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Suddenly Annika Qarlsson doesn't seem bat- crazy.
23:11 June 18, 2009 by Nutcracker
The Nazis took the credit for building the Autobahn which was actually conceived, and begun, by the pre-Nazi government of the Weimar Republic. The Nazis did not initiate any economic policies which led Germany out of the Depression; it was, instead, the steps taken to bolster the military and put the country on a war footing which contributed to the seeming, illusory improvement economically.
23:40 June 18, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut

Why do men want to marry virgins?

They can't stand criticism.

Comme ça?
23:45 June 18, 2009 by lingonberrie
Nutcrackers comment appear to have been written and posted from Tel Aviv.

This is a gross reconstruction of history and an illusion that is perpetrated by those who have been distorting Germany's history for the past 75 years.

The next thing that will come out is that Rommel was really a Palestinian, and that Hitler was not an Austrian but a Somali, and that the Jews really invented modern day rockets and missiles.

The Germans during the period of 1930-1945 did create some of the most important inventions and industries of the twentieth century, and for the lack of them the rest of the world would still be trying to get off the ground, let alone into space.

The politician who praised Hitler was right, and even more so than the Americans who praise the moron gwb for his war on terror that is given credit for preventing "weapons of mass destruction and mushroom clouds," whereas he shredded their Constitution and their Bill of Rights.
23:47 June 18, 2009 by Gwrhyr
Is it just me or is he denying the Holocaust by saying that the oppression culminated in Kristallnacht? Aren't the gas chambers and concentration camps worse? Apparently not in his eyes.
23:56 June 18, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
How would you know where Nutcracker is posting from? Do you have access to his IP address?

And please, explain to the class how Hitler, himself, was personally responsible for all of this wicked-cool inventions you're ratting on about? I'm failing to see how the rest of the world would be rolling around in its own feces without German innovation.
01:49 June 19, 2009 by lingonberrie
I have no idea what Hitler was personally responsibe for, but I do know what the Germans were and are responsible for:superior weapons systems, superior soldiers, superior aircraft, superior armor, superior hand-gun weapons, superior engineering, superior automobiles, superior auto-bahns, superior architects, superior environmental controls, superior, and ecologically sound, tolilet systems to keep you from rolling about in your own feces, and I wrote "appears" because his post sounds like one that would originate from Israel, or AIPAC, or the United States, which they control, and of which several of their esteemed Congresspeople favor Israel over the United States.

Who in their right mind would identify themselves as "Slut" ?
02:05 June 19, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
If you're not certain what, precisely, Hitler was responsible for, don't you find it a bid odd and, perhaps off-base, to say that the Swedish politician who praised his leadership was right? I mean - all you're doing is saying someone is right without being able to substantiate anything. And, it goes without saying, oh esteemed student of history, that many other nations were adept at highway construction, architectural feats and marvels of engineering as well.

Your complaints about the United States and Israel show that you only admire Germany for her failures during Hitler's reign and not her accomplishments before and after your preferred epoch. Nothing but thinly veiled and exceptionally tired anti-Semitism in its purest and rawest form.

As I see it, you're better suited to pick up a book and brush up on your history than bothering yourself with what I choose to use as an internet handle. And with that I leave you with the following tidbit to ponder:
02:11 June 19, 2009 by Swedendre
The one and only reason that Hitler built up Germany was because he wanted to pretty much wanted to take over the world..

Hitler was nothing else but a crazy ass nazi ladies en gentlemen.
02:36 June 19, 2009 by Princess P
There is/was a large collection of his paintings on show at Longleat. I didn't realise what it was at first. I just thought they were nice paintings. Then I noticed the signatures and felt a chill go down my spine. Very creepy.
02:37 June 19, 2009 by Coalbanks
#11 that's comparison not criticism - we men allow neither comparison nor criticism - our fragile egos just can't take it - oh, by the way, since you asked: that skirt does make your butt look fat. What? you're upset?

Back on topic: to what tune was that politico singing Hitler's praises? Deutcheland Uber Alles?

Oh well at least Hitler was astute enough to support a car company or two that are still in business.
02:51 June 19, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
I wish that I had thought of this line.
03:44 June 19, 2009 by skane refugee
not sure where to start dismantling this propaganda piece for the 'deutsche ubermänschen' ... so many angles ;o)

if you're obliquely referring to Germany's 1950's and 1960's economic 'miracle' ... well, present day thinking Germans acknowledge the 'repatriation' (from Switzerland and elsewhere) of looted WW2 wealth used to turbocharge the German economy 5 or 10 years after the end of the war in 1945 ... the focus was on capital intensive industries like engineering, chemicals and automotive where scale and hence capital availability were the key criteria to compete ... no doubt that German industrial families had plenty of hidden capital available!!

many household name German companies had to import their technology ... for example BMW was built on British automotive designs and production machinery

... reference to "space" was presumably concerning the Apollo program which is famously referred to as being made possible by 'German rockets, British brains and American money' ... leaving aside the conspiracy theories ;o) ;o) ... if it actually happened ;o) this was at least as much a British technological triumph as it was German

"superior aircraft" ... scratching my head as to which era this could be referring to? ...

... obviously not WW2 since Germany comprehensively lost the Battle of Britain despite having at least a 3 to 1 numerical advantage in aircraft piloted by veteran (Spanish civil war, Poland, France etc) German combat airmen against little more than a bunch of 'hobby pilots' ... inferior German engines, limited effective range, poor cockpit visibility, and lack of radar were among the many key/fatal technological weaknesses suffered by the German Luftwaffe

the jet engine was developed in Britain but was dismissed as uneconomic to produce ... the Germans put a handful of jet prototypes into production and service just before their defeat but would have been better advised using the scarce materials elsewhere

... the standout 100% german WW2 aircraft innovation was the ejector seat ... which was introduced too late to save more than a handful of their veteran pilots

"superior hand gun weapons" ... the Russian AK-47 is still the 'hand gun' weapon of choice worldwide and based on a WW2 era basic design

... bored now !!! ... can't be bothered with the rest ...

On the original point ... (alarmingly) I've met many admirers of Hitler here in Sweden ... the politician is just voicing the silent opinion of many ...

Hitler elevated blue eyed, blond haired 'nordics' to the very pinnacle of human evolution (based on no scientific or historical evidence whatsoever) ... Swedish immigrants had previously been little more than the butt of jokes in the States and elsewhere ... easy to see why Hitlers ideas appealed to some weak minded locals!
04:05 June 19, 2009 by lingonberrie
Ancient Rome was adept at engineering. There are roadways yet in Italy from them. Their acquifer/water supply system, their plumbing and superior homes existed while Europe was in their caves.

The rulers and armies of ancient Rome would make Hitler look like a boy scout, yet ancient Rome and their military leaders and Emperors are revered.

Sweden matches almost everything that Germany produces, especally military materiel and Special Operations Forces.

I admire the Germans Wehrmacht and Bundeswehr and the German peace-keeping truppen who recently defied Israeli soldiers. The attitudes remain

70 years later.

I have read more history than you will ever see. After having read 52 military histories in one winter, and afterwards in university for five years read even more history--your ideas are pure bunk. I have since read a hundred more history books.

I know where Israel stands, and I know where the United States stands in regard to them.
08:18 June 19, 2009 by CTIDinÅrsta
But what have the Romans ever done for us?
09:06 June 19, 2009 by Svartskalle
superior weapons systems, superior soldiers, superior aircraft, superior armor, superior hand-gun weapons, superior engineering, superior automobiles, superior auto-bahns, superior architects, superior environmental controls, superior, and ecologically sound, tolilet systems to keep you from rolling about in your own fece................................................................................................................

And after all above mentioned superiority their asses were kicked by drunken and stupid russian muzhiks with caucasian sadist as a leader!

How comes?
09:35 June 19, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Obviously you have know idea about history, just flipped to the last page to see who won WWII

The Germans were hampered by their own high level of engineering excellence. The Tiger tank was the most technologically advanced tank of the war, but because they wanted perfection it was difficult and slow to produce. As a result they were only made in a few thousand. The Sherman and T34 were made in their tens of thousands and as a result were far more effective than the Tiger. The allies could afford to lose 5 or 10 tanks to knock out on Tiger.

The Germans independently developed the jet (The British jet designer, Frank Whittle met the German designer after the war and established that the German had no knowledge of his pre war designs). The ME262 was hampered by Hitlers desire to make it a fighter bomber rather than just a straight out fighter. It was an effective weapon but came ito the war too late and in too few numbers.

There are many more stories of high tech weaponry developed by the Germans that were superior to what the allies had, but were hampered by the Germans search for perfection and the leaderships wacked out ideas.

It was probably a good thing that they never assassinated Hitler, because if he was replaced by someone who wanted to continue the war, but took advice from his Generals and scientists, the war may have gone on longer.
09:57 June 19, 2009 by Uncle
Renfeh - who is talking about the ability of the Germans to produce a quality product?

The conversation is about a politician giving a personal praise to Hitler! And Hitler, mind you, was not even of German origin.
10:01 June 19, 2009 by Jeffi
And yet another poorly trained Swedish politician. Really, three this week alone, tsk. I hereby suggest, to continue a theme of including sex ed classes in SFI, a mandatory course for all newly elected politicians to teach them to think before they speak. Oh, certainly, not all will need and we can deal with exceptions on a case by case basis (and set up a bureaucracy to take months to decide if such a class is needed so all politicos might as well just resign themselves to sitting through the class as we won't decide until months later). And then they should be compelled to prove through a series of tests (no salary until they pass all the tests) that they have the capability to not put their foot in their mouth.
11:23 June 19, 2009 by skane refugee
Great post RH ...

"an engineer has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away" ... as the famous quote has it!

Nearly all German engineering was easily replicable by the British in WW2 ... indeed much of the technology (eg the jet engine) was available to the British long before the Germans conceived it, let alone put it into production ...

But (to paraphrase RHs eloquent and valid points), it was quantity and simplicity of production (and particularly ease of repair through standardised platforms and parts) that really counted in WW2

It was a conscious allied decision not to produce a small quantity of top-end weaponry for land sea and air, but instead to produce a very large quantity of simplified and standardised weaponry

This was in no way a reflection of 'superior German engineering skills' ... quite the opposite IMHO
11:35 June 19, 2009 by Nemesis
We do not need a repeat of these events:




What Mr, Välivaara remembers is that Hitler built roads, which were planned before he came to power but took credit for. The surge in the German Economy in the late 30's was due to re-armenent. Hitler had actually run out of money when he entered Prague in 1938.

All Hitler did, was slaughter, massacre, kill, destroy and main. He did nothing else.

For those of you who mention the Romans. Caesar slaughtered and enslaved a third of what is now France, destroying there original language and culture. Trajan exterminated Dacia, which is now called Romania.

It has been estimated that about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum games. Today people visit it as a place of culture.
12:59 June 19, 2009 by spy
Meanwhile back at the Swedish funny farm everything moved along as normal.
22:43 June 20, 2009 by Kooritze
Meanwhile back in the Swedish funny farm they made a lot of money out of the whole WWII deal. Exporting iron ore to Nazi Germany, taking payments in marks and later in gold (hopefully with no bits of teeth embeded). Realising they backed the wrong horse in 1943, switched sides.....once again to profit from export to allies. Life was pretty dandy with all this trade.......

but things did get worse for some! what a line from this politician: displays his naivety and arrogance. Swedes with this attitude are really laughable, When the rest of europe burned and was involved in a life and death struggle these people just did business......hence to this day the lack of generational understanding of reality lives on in this society.
14:44 January 27, 2010 by nathdm
Yes, Hitler did some horrible things, but isn't that entirely peropheral to Mr V's statement? Hitler was also a vegitarian, but saying that shouldn't direct people into a diatribe about how he killed millions of people. It is silly. Mr V said he had some clever ideas about public spending. Nothing more, nothing less. Doesn't make him a Hitler sympathizer. Meanwhile, politics being politics, the other guy has had to rebuke this with an attack of 'bringing up Hitler' because at the end of the day, it is his job and discrediting the other guy is in his personal intrests. There is honestly not much weight in the comment and i find it pretty ridiculous that people reast so strong to a statement with no malicious intent.
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