‘In The Spirit of Brotherhood and Common Sense
The Swedish Democrats have climbed in numbers and gained power and seats in Sweden’s parliament and municipal governments since 1991. They are anti-immigrants as well anti-refugees. The founders were Skin heads, Neo-Nazis, Lindholm party, Nazi party of Swedish Coalition. Gustav Ekström fought WWII under Heinrich Himmler (1941-1943) and Fritz Håkkansson was a dissident from Nazi Nordic Reich party. All of these groups participated in the Creation of Swedish Democratic party.
In 1998 SS-veteran Ingemar Somberg wrote a New Year’s chronicle for the Nazi newspaper Wärendsbladet where he informed his followers to change from neo-Nazis to Swedish Democrats. He wrote, “It’s not like it was in the 1930s, because the Nazi symbolism is no longer viable and is also punishable by law. My hope for 1999 is that all may be gathered under a unifying management behind a non-mono-pod party program. Let’s compile a ‘centipede’ program where xenophobia is not the driving force and where white power isn’t the only important thing. We must broaden our positions to all areas of politics. To you young people, I would particularly appeal to you to hang up your Nazi uniforms, put away your beer cans and stop squalling about the Jewish genocide. You must march to make it in time, because you do not promote the white races supremacy by acting like a flock of sheep.”
Hates crimes in Sweden appeared with the resurgence of the Swedish democratic party. Hate crimes have escalated along with their popularity and rise to power. When the refugee stream started to flood into Sweden during 2015, the hate crimes escalated again. This is the terrorism we see; the burning down of Mosques and refugee housing, the vandalization of Jewish temples, assaults and battery against people of color. And then there is Internet hate, which spreads propaganda, hatred and creates fear of refugees.
Of course there are two sides to every coin. Women in Germany file charges of rape during the New Year celebrations. A 15 year old male stabbed and killed a Swedish female worker at a group home for refugee children. A mother with two children was attacked by a pick pocket at the train station. Young girls are being sexually assaulted at Indoor swimming pools across Sweden. Everyday there are more media rapports about crimes committed by refugees in Sweden and other EU countries. I find myself being bombarded with the message that all refugees are criminals and terrorists and have no place in the EU. Criminality, such as hate crimes, rape, assault and terrorism are a separate subjects, than the refugees crisis. We are still a Democratic society with police and a judicial system that should take appropriate action.
Where is the voice of reason? Each instance must be dealt with on it’s own merits according to the law. I do not want to walk around being afraid and terrorized, but I do want to use common sense for my own personal safety. I personally have questioned the veracity of the governments resolve to stop this from escalating further. Recently the Prime Minister said that the government has been naive in combating these crimes. To improve this situation the Swedish Parliament has raised the police budget, revised internet hate laws, and started a discussion on how to educate refugees on Swedish social norms, such as sexual equality.
The Swedish refugee crisis is a very explosive topic, that I feel very passionate about. I no longer live in the 2nd largest city, where I had more extensive personal knowledge of refugees. But refugees are now arriving in our rural area. Just this week I have seen a few at the medical center, in grocery stores and out on the streets. Language barriers kept us from talking. There are Swedish citizen who graciously welcome refugees and you have others who are protesting there existence here. It varies from community to community. About 163 000 refugees have come to Sweden in 2015. Swedish Immigration officials are predicting 120 000 refugees for 2016.
Today’s influx of refugees have not been seen since WWII (1938 to 1948). Swedish history shows us that despite the economic hardships and record number of refugees the country can thrive. Our past shows us that with good government leadership and cooperation of the different parties in the parliament, Sweden can thrive and excel to build a thriving society. The administration of Former Swedish Prime Minister Tage Erlander (1946-1969) shows us how it has been done before. It was during his administration that social reforms like National Health Services, unemployment security funds, general child allowance, educational reforms and paid maternity leave were created. This was all accomplished while maintaining lower taxes than the United States. Swedish taxation changed in 1960. Erlander’s post WWII economic expansions saw Sweden’s economy grow to the tenth largest economy in the World.
I still Believe that it is possible for Sweden to prosper and thrive despite today’s refugee crisis. We just need to look at the successes of our past to inspire us to come up with innovative ideas to meet today’s challenges by rebuilding and modernizing our society for the betterment of all people.