Sweden’s Dark, Hidden History

No political party has dominated the life of Sweden during the 20th century and right up to today as the Social Democrat Party (Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetareparti, SAP; literally, “Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden”). Over the course of their long history (founded 1888), they have maintained an image of liberalism and progressive values. They have built Sweden into a massive welfare state, something that Swedes are quite proud of. They opposed the US involvement in the Vietnam war, welcomed military deserters, and vocally criticized the US at every turn for its perceived human and civil rights abuses. In recent decades, they have taken the side of the Palestinians and attacked Israel as some sort of apartheid state where human rights abuses against Palestinians prevail. No European nation has as many NGOs aligned against Israel as Sweden.

Presently, Sweden is attracting international attention for a new issue- mass migration of Muslims into the country trying to take advantage of the welfare system and making city streets unsafe for Swedes, especially women. Sweden is now the rape capital of Europe, and it isn’t Swedish males doing the raping. Add to that no-go zones, riots, mass burning of cars, and the ever present threat of violence, and Sweden is not the Sweden of old.

For Jews, it’s worse. They are leaving in droves due to assaults and harassment from Muslim immigrants. The Swedes largely look the other way. Rather than face the overall problem, the SAP government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven refuses to close the borders and criticises anyone opposed to this migration. When US President Donald Trump pointed out the issue of Swedish immigrant crime, the Swedish government reacted angrily denying the problem. In addition, the Sweden Democrats Party (SD), which opposes Muslim migration, is attacked as being “racist” and “Islamophobic”. It is true that in its early days, the SD had some members who were racist or anti-semitic. The party has worked hard to eliminate and purge these elements as it builds its base and becomes more popular. Under Jimmie Åkesson, the party is now one of the strongest in Sweden.

But what about the SAP? In spite of their public image as liberal, progressive, and devoted to human rights, they have a long history of just the opposite. I have just watched a one hour and forty-five minute documentary entitled, “Ett folk-ett parti” (One people-one party), which is a history of the SAP. It is in Swedish with English sub-titles and produced by Samtiden, a conservative publication in Sweden. It is well documented, and much of the material is right out of the Swedish National Library. Here is what you can learn:

Around the turn of the 20th century, the study of eugenics or racial biology was becoming popular in Germany. What is not so well known is that the subject was widespread in Sweden as well and supported by the SAP. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they made the subject official and mandatory study in the universities, largely directed at the Jews. Rather than criticize the Nazis for this, there was much support in Sweden, and Germany was applauded for its anti-Jewish stance.

It is well known that Sweden, under Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson and the SAP, that Sweden was neutral during World War 2. It is also a fact that Sweden enraged their nordic neighbor, Norway, by allowing German troop transports to pass through Sweden to and from occupied Norway. It is also known that they allowed Danish Jews to be smuggled from occupied Norway into Sweden. That was after the battle of Stalingrad, which ended in February 1943, however. Prior to that, Sweden was turning German Jews away. Only after Hitler ordered the deportation of Danish Jews on October 1, 1943, did Sweden allow safe harbor to Jews being smuggled out of occupied Denmark by the Danish resistance.

There was another area in which Sweden was emulating the Nazis. That was regarding the retarded and disabled population. There was a concerted effort to prevent these people from producing off-spring. Many were placed in so-called “hospitals”, such as at Vipeholm, where they were allowed to languish and die. Forced sterilization was also favored as a way to keep the Swedish race pure. In fact, as the film points out, forced sterilizations were carried out not only during the prime ministership of Per Albin Hansson and Tage Erlander (the latter served post WW2), but for the first seven years of Olaf Palme’s term as PM. In addition, the policy was in effect for the first six years that the current prime minister, Stefan Löfven, was a member of the SAP.

In addition, a Swedish acquaintance of mine, who is of Israeli origin, told me of his and a friend’s efforts to obtain historical material from one of Sweden’s oldest and most established newspapers, Aftonbladet, to gain archival material from their publications which documents these racist ideas and policies during the 20th century and which published articles praising Hitler and the Nazis. They have had similar problems gaining old copies of the SAP Youth League publication, Fram, which also reflect the policies of the SAP in those years including articles condemning Jews. This in spite of the fact that the material is covered under Sweden’s version of the Freedom of Information law that we have in the US. Many of the materials they have been given are redacted even though they appeared not in government documents, but in publications available to the public, such as newspapers.

The end of this video refers to it as “Part one”. At this point, I don’t know if a “Part two” is available. If so, I will post it. The video can be viewed here.

About the Author
Gary Fouse worked from 1998-2016 as adjunct teacher at University of California at Irvine Ext. teaching English as a second language. Served three years in US Army Military Police at Erlangen, Germany 1966-68. 1970-1973- Criminal Investigator with US Customs 1973-1995 Criminal investigator with Drug Enforcement Administration. Stationed in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Milan, Italy, Pittsburgh and Office of Training, FBI Academy, Quantico, Va. until retirement. Author of Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town-University Press of America 2005. The Story of Papiamentu- A Study in Slavery and Language, University Press of America, 2002. The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, University Press of America, 2000.
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