• Sweden's news in English
Nationalist forgets about World War Two in peace text
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Nationalist forgets about World War Two in peace text

The Local · 15 Feb 2016, 16:23

Published: 15 Feb 2016 15:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Feb 2016 16:23 GMT+01:00

The leader of Sweden's anti-immigration party Jimmie Åkesson was hoping to get people talking about his debate article in one of Sweden's biggest newspapers on Monday, calling for a common border for the Nordic region.

But he ended up causing a stir on social media for all the wrong reasons after a reader suggested that he and his co-writer, senior Sweden Democrat Aron Emilsson, needed a basic history lesson.

"Our 26 million inhabitants make up a small part of Europe's and the world's population but together we have achieved strong, stable economies, 200 years of peace, strong innovation and a Nordic welfare model which has a strong reputation all over the world," the political pair wrote in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

Sweden has avoided conflict for two centuries, after staying neutral during World War Two. However Norway, Finland and Denmark all participated in the war which remains one of the biggest bloodsheds in history. Norway and Denmark were both invaded and occupied by the Nazis while Finland fought both against Germany and Russia.

"Really, Åkesson? What was WW2 about? Anschluss?" wrote regional centre-left Green Party politician Nils Karlsson on Twitter after the blunder.

Meanwhile Facebook comments on Expressen's website included "go back to school!" and "what an upset!".

A spokesperson for the Sweden Democrats, Henrik Vinge, told The Local that the factually incorrect text had since been amended online.

"The article is about Nordic cooperation. Originally it stated that our countries have experienced '200 years of peace' ('200 år av fred'). The meaning of it being of course '200 years of internal peace' ('200 år av inbördes fred'). The text is now changed into the latter," he said.

Meanwhile the editor of Dagens Nyheter, Nils Öhman, has admitted that his team should also have been more beady-eyed when publishing the content.

"It was a reader who came forward and pointed it out. We should have seen it too," he told Swedish tabloid Expressen.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats want to drastically cut immigration to Sweden and Åkesson and Emilsson suggested in their article that this could be achieved by a more unified cooperation between Sweden's neighbours.

Recent opinion polls suggest the Sweden Democrat party has the support of around 20 percent of the electorate.

The group's error in Dagens Nyheter came just days after Sweden's Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was involved in another mix-up, telling a conference in Mumbai on Saturday that "the eyes of the world are on China", before quickly correcting himself and saying "sorry, on India".

"It used to be on China, now it's on India," he added, swiftly.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
US election
What Americans in Sweden think of Trump and Clinton
The Local spoke to Americans in Sweden after the first US presidential debate. Photo: David Goldman/AP/TT

The Local spoke to four US voters based in Sweden about who they are planning on voting for in the November election, and it looks like it's complicated.

Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Should a condom be sent into space? It's the burning question some Swedes have posed. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT & Craig Rubadoux/AP

'We can't be sure what alien sex organs look like.'

Mum gives birth on toilet after being told to take paracetamol
File photo of a baby not related to the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

A woman has described how she was told to take a painkiller when she phoned a hospital in Ystad, southern Sweden, in pain. Just moments later she gave birth to a baby in the toilet.

Indians in Sweden told to be wary of travel document scam
File photo of a man using a phone not related to the story. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The Embassy of India in Stockholm has urged Indian citizens in Sweden to be wary of scammers who ask for money to fix fabricated errors in travel documents.

Swedes shell out for season's first lobster
Meet Pontus Johansson and his lobster. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Best not to look at the price tag.

Witnesses 'afraid to talk' to police about Malmö shooting
Police investigating the shooting in Malmö. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Police are appealing for witnesses to a shooting which killed a man and injured three in a residential street of Malmö – but it is an uphill battle.

Swedish leaders need to be prepared for tech challenges
Will robots take over your jobs? Photo: Eric Piermont/AP

Will your job still exist in ten years' time? How will society and businesses adapt to the advancements that are on their way?

'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape'
Tech star Tayyab Shabab, who is being threatened with deportation. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish politicians are keen to talk up the country's startups – but their migration rules threaten to strangle them, argues The Local's managing editor James Savage.

Startup heavyweights back tech ace told to leave Sweden
Spotify founder Daniel Ek is one of the big tech names backing Tayyab Shabab (right). Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SvD/TT & personal

Major names in the tech community have rallied behind a developer who was told he must leave Sweden within a month due to an admin error made by his former employer.

Why Sweden could deport hundreds of refugee children
A home for lone refugee children in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Several hundred lone refugee children could now be sent home from Sweden due to a change in how the rule on exceptional circumstances is applied when making asylum decisions.

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Property of the week: Gotland
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Blog updates

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »


23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
People-watching: September 14th
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
jobs available