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Swedish Jews to appeal neo-Nazi march near synagogue

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Swedish Jews to appeal neo-Nazi march near synagogue
The NRM marching in Falun. Photo: Ulf Palm/TT
14:10 CEST+02:00
Sweden's main organization for Jews is appealing a police decision to grant the openly racist neo-Nazi group the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) permission to stage a march near a synagogue in Gothenburg on September 30th.

The march will not only fall on the same day as the holy Jewish holiday Yom Kippur – a day of atonement observed by fasting and praying – it will also pass close to a Gothenburg synagogue.

“It's the day of the year when many Jews who normally don't go to the synagogue will gather there. On this day, the police have decided to grant the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement permission to march through Gothenburg, no more than a stone's throw away from the synagogue,” Aron Verständig, chairman of The Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, and Allan Stutzinky, chairman of the Jewish Community in Gothenburg, wrote in an opinion piece in daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

“Aside from out of fear for our own security, it evokes uncomfortable associations for us Jews. During the Holocaust it wasn't unusual for the German Nazis to conduct their horrendous atrocities on the most important days of the Jewish calendar,” they added.

READ ALSO: Why 2016 saw a surge in neo-Nazi activity in Sweden

The NRM had initially sought permission to stage the march on one of Gothenburg's main avenues, Kungsportsavenyn, but were only granted a permit if they agreed to change the route. The new route will pass not far from the synagogue.

“Let them stay in the periphery, where they belong,” Verständig and Stutzinky said.

Several counterprotests are expected to be held to demonstrate against the NRM.

Earlier this year, anti-racism foundation Expo said that the NRM was the driving force behind a surge in neo-Nazi activity in Sweden in 2016, with propaganda-spreading including the distribution of flyers and stickers their most common form of activity.

"They're at the most extreme end of this white supremacist area. There's a lot of crime associated with them, they have a relationship with violence," Expo researcher Jonathan Leman told The Local at the time.

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