Sweden Democrats admit Nazi roots in new 'white book'

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Sweden Democrats admit Nazi roots in new 'white book'
The Sweden Democrats' first chairman Anders Klarström had been briefly active in the neo-Nazi Nordiska rikspartiet ("Nordic Realm Party"). Photo: TT

The populist Sweden Democrats party has admitted to being founded by fascists, skinheads, and other 'people with nasty backgrounds' in the first part of its own, internal inquiry into its origins.


With less than two months to go before Sweden's general election on September 11th, the party has published the first part of its so-called White Book, which it hopes will bring all of its historical skeletons out of the closet, and so help lay them to rest. 


The party's leader Jimmie Åkesson came up with the idea in the run-up to the 2018 election, and in 2021, Tony Gustavsson, a historian of ideas based at Uppsala University, was appointed to lead the research, which he has been allowed to do without any interference from party officials. 

Gustavsson told state broadcaster SR that the group who founded the party in 1988 had clear neo-Nazi links. 

"One came from the New Swedish Movement, a fascist movement which started between the wars," he told Sweden's TT newswire. "Another came from the so-called skinhead movement. Some seem to  have cultivated various types of neo-Nazi contact and to have moved relatively seamlessly in that environment." 

Martin Kinnunen, the Sweden Democrat MP who was responsible for the project, said that the party hoped to draw a line under the past. 

"The party was populated at that time by a lot of people with nasty backgrounds," he told TT. "We wish that things were different, but we have nothing to hide." 

In a press release, however, the party said that "the report gives no support for the idea that the party was part of the fascist movement." 

"The report suggests rather that the party and the associations which predated its establishment were in conflict with those extreme movements that then existed and that didn't at all want to see a new movement to develop on democratic grounds."  

Kinnunen said that the White Book Project had been "the most transparent ever launched in Swedish politics" and said that Jimmie Åkesson had been clear since he became party leader in 2005 that there were serious black marks in the party's history. 

"I think that voters are much more interested in the fight against crime, high energy prices and how you can make integration work better than what happened in a party 35 years ago," he said. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

maurice.grube 2022/07/16 16:59
Make no mistake. This is no line that separates the past from the now and the future. Fascists attract fascists, are fascists and stay fascists.

See Also