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“Holocaust survivors in Sweden- the ‘straw men’ for the radical right” (part 1)

Författare Andreas Önnerfors
Publicerad i Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right blog
Nummer/häfte 2018-10-10
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion
Språk en
Länkar https://www.radicalrightanalysis.co...
Ämnesord Göteborgs-Posten, Alice Teodorescu, Swedish Holocaust Survivors, Sweden Democrats
Ämneskategorier Statsvetenskap, Idé- o lärdomshistoria, Historia och arkeologi, Historia


“[...] Our adversaries have forced us to an existential fight about the survival of our culture and our nation. There are only two choices: victory or death.” Mattias Karlsson of radical right Sverigedemokraterna (SD, the Swedish Democrats) comments the outcome of the Swedish national elections 9 September 2018 on his Facebook. In the aftermath of the Swedish national elections on 9 September, tensions are strained to a maximum and existential emotions are running high. None of the traditional Swedish parties secured a clear victory. And although SD did not reach the result wished for, exponential growth in electoral support since their first entry in parliament in 2010 has created a serious deadlock in the forming of a functional government. Significant segments of the conservative-liberal ‘Alliance’ (Alliansen) are outright supporters of breaking the cordon sanitaire towards SD and accepting the party (with its historical origins in organized neo-Nazism) into the political community in order to seize power. Thus, it came as a slap in the face when Björn Söder of SD was voted down as deputy speaker of the house at the opening session of the Swedish parliament. At least since the election result was published, Swedish opinion formation is likewise in a situation of a fundamental and polarized stalemate. An impressive series of Op Eds have appeared that either argue for a continued exclusion of SD and its active influence over a future government or that to the contrary hold that the votes of more than a million voters cannot be ignored any longer. It is against this backdrop Alice Teodorescu, political editor of so-called ‘independently liberal’ Göteborgsposten (GP), decided to publish an Op Ed in which she aimed to dismantle one of the arguments that have been continuously brought forward during the election campaign, but certainly since the spectacular entry of SD in the national parliament back in 2010. During recent years, a sizeable number of Swedish Holocaust survivors have continuously spoken out against SD. They have paralleled their ideology as much as the contemporary political situation in Europe and Sweden with the early 1930s and developments in Nazi-Germany. These independent statements of victims have been publicized, among other outlets, in the liberal newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN), owned by publishing house Bonniers. It is in particular Hédi Fred, author of a number of books on her experiences of the Holocaust, who repeatedly has stressed that Swedish democracy is placed under an existential threat from the side of the radial right. However, Alice Teodorescu’s Op Ed aimed to undermine this line of argument and instead to claim that Holocaust survivors (and their testimonies) have been abused as straw men (“bulvaner”) in order to decoy the Swedish public and political establishment into continuing to block SD from political influence.

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