[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 05 April 2006]
Whenever you’re talking to a Swedish person and they start getting all uppity about how Sweden is all about peace and love and big hugs, you may want to point them to this article. (If you happen to be in front of a computer right at that moment, of course.)
Here’s the lede:
Sweden helped the Nazis stop Germans and Jews marrying and suppressed criticism of Hitler and reports of atrocities, says new research suggesting neutral Sweden accommodated the Nazis more than previously thought.
There’s an old bitter joke that goes:
The Nazis invaded Denmark in two weeks, Norway overnight, and Sweden by phone.
Sure, every country—every country—has appalling nastiness in its history, but the things that Sweden did a nudge, nudge, wink, wink over during the Nazi era and then has completely tried to sweep under the table and deny is galling.
The history I was taught in school growing up in Sweden most certainly did not include any mention whatsoever of collaboration with the Nazis … I wonder if the current curriculum does?
Note the frightening last paragraph of the article:
But a recent study by the Living History Forum shocked Jews in Sweden by suggesting that one in 20 Swedes still has strong anti-Semitic views and over a third were “ambivalent” towards Jews.
All I’m saying is, we can and should do a whole lot better.