The "love-bombed" school in central Stockholm. Photo: The Lemon Curd/Twitter
Students whose school was bombarded with Nazi graffiti at the weekend were surprised on Tuesday to find the building had been "love-bombed" by Stockholm well-wishers.
Stockholm's Vasa Real school was hit by a Nazi graffiti attack
on Sunday night, when unknown assailants sprayed swastikas on the walls, as well as the words "disgusting Jews" and the number 1488, which is a symbol for white power and the Nazi greeting Heil Hitler. The attack left one parent in tears
On Monday night, members of Sweden's Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) youth wing organized a "love bombing" to counter the offensive Nazi slogans.
"We wanted the pupils at the school to be greeted by love in the morning instead of all the hate they saw on Monday," young Liberal Bawar Esmail told The Local.
"So a group of us got together and cut (out) some heart-shaped paper and put them up on the doors and in the hallways at the school," he explained. "People passing by joined in, and everyone wrote messages for the students."
He explained that the messages were meant to bring comfort to the students, some of whom are as young as 11. The messages contained words such as "Love overcomes hate" and "Love comes in all shapes and colours". Others wrote that there were 1,000 times more people lovers than haters in Sweden.
The move kicked off a hashtag on social media "#1000xFler", which literally means "1,000 times more". It featured in tweets on Tuesday from Democracy Minister Birgitta Ohlsson and Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag, among hundreds of others.
As to why Esmail felt compelled to help, he said the answer was simple.
"I'm an immigrant myself, and racism really frustrates me," he said. "It's easy to get depressed by hateful messages in society."
The Vasa Real school has more than 800 pupils from grades five to nine, when the children are between 11 and 15. At high-school level, there are three classes with Jewish children who study the Swedish curriculum but also study Hebrew and Jewish studies, according to the Vasa Real website.