by Ritt Goldstein
It was December when neo-Nazis marched through the streets of Stockholm, parading by the Jewish Community’s headquarters, their protest against a perceived ‘Jewish conspiracy’ too historically familiar. On 13 May, Swedish media reported that a Riksdag party with neo-Nazi roots, the Sweden Democrats (SD), had increased about 40% in popularity over the last month, 6.6% of Swedes now supporting them. Beyond this, in April the head of the Obama administration’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, actually came to Sweden, discussing what have been described as the Social Democratic mayor of Malmö’s repeated ‘anti-semitic’ comments…all of these events speaking to disturbing changes.
I’ll add that discrimination here is a fact for many more than Jews, as indeed it was in the Europe of the 1930s.
Further emphasizing the current milieu’s gravity, the trial of a man accused of randomly shooting immigrants in Malmö opened on 14 May. According to the New York Times, the lead prosecutor also alleged in an interview that the fellow believes it was actually Jews that were responsible for the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center, further highlighting the nature of the present hate.
When I first came to Sweden, to Falun, it was 1997, and I genuinely found it a place that felt the closest on earth to heaven. But over the last years, I have seen changes, personally endured events, that earlier I could not even have conceived of.
Sweeping ‘economic reforms’ have reshaped Sweden and much of Europe. Effectively, there has been a massive redistribution of societal assets, one that has steadily resulted in the disenfranchisement of untold numbers, numbers that had once belonged to Europe’s storied middle class. But while the pain of this ‘reform and austerity’ is genuine, blame is being too often wrongly placed.
Continue Reading at CounterPunch http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/25/living-in-sweden-thinking-of-the-holocaust/