The World Jewish Congress has launched a global campaign urging the Swedish government to outlaw the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), the country’s most violent neo-Nazi movement, which is also registered as a political party. Meanwhile, as Sweden gears up for its federal elections on September 9, NRM is planning to stage a massive demonstration on Saturday, sanctioned by police in accordance with the country’s laws protecting freedom of speech and expression.
“The Nordic Resistance Movement is a dangerous organization with an extensive track record of public actions carried out with the sole purpose of spreading its brand of far-right nationalism, seeking to eliminate minority ethnic and religious groups from Sweden’s diverse social fabric,” said World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer. “Its continued operations within a legal framework are an affront to the strong democratic values enshrined within Sweden’s constitution. It is time for Sweden to take a stand against extremism of all kinds and ensure that there is no place for neo-Nazis in society.”
The NRM was established in 1997 by by Klas Lund, a Swede who had previously been jailed for manslaughter and bank robbery, and other former members of the White Aryan Resistance. It has branches in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, the latter of which has banned the organization since November 2017.
The World Jewish Congress is circulating a worldwide petition to put press on the Swedish government to utilize all available legal measures to NRM and similar neo-Nazi organizations in Sweden which implement militaristic activities with the ideological goal of persecuting or inciting against others.
In recent years, NRM has repeatedly incited against minority groups, clad in dark clothing to underscore its militaristic intentions, including attacking refugees with bombs and incendiary devices and assaulting participants at Sweden’s annual political festival, the Almedalen Week.
Last year, NRM also organized a militant march Yon om Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, routed past the main synagogue in Gothenburg, to terrify Jews and others. In addition, NRM sympathizers repeatedly terrorized the small Jewish community in Umea, ultimately forcing the closure of its center in 2017. NRM also routinely publishes videos in which it portrays itself as the ideological heirs of Hitler and the Nazi Party, glorifying the Nazi message, and vociferously denying the Holocaust.
The World Jewish Congress’ campaign is currently running in Swedish and in English, to gain traction among Swedish-speakers both local and abroad.