Sweden Democrats admit Nazi roots in new ‘white book’

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.

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

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. 

Member comments

  1. 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.

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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime