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Swedish Government: It Is Everyone’s Duty To Stand Up Against Anti-Semitism

(September 13, 2021)

Hatred of Jews is a poison in our society. Anti-Semitic hate crimes and incidents are becoming more common, both in Sweden and in the rest of the world. It's scary and requires us to act. Every form of racism must be fought.

The Holocaust is the ultimate consequence of hatred of the Jews. We have a duty to ensure that the testimonies of the genocides committed by the Nazis and their allies are never lost.

In exactly one month, representatives from eighty countries and international organizations in Sweden will gather to participate in Remember ReAct - Malmö International Forum for the Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, which the government has initiated.

The basis for the work with remembrance and against anti-Semitism already exists, among other things in the Stockholm Declaration from the year 2000.

Concrete commitments are now needed. The leaders of the countries, organizations and companies that have been invited have been invited to present such in Malmö. The government has set aside SEK 95 million [about $11 million] in the 2022 budget bill for what Sweden undertakes.

Sweden will make the following commitments:

Preserve and carry on the memory of the Holocaust.

  • On 1 July 2022, the Swedish Museum of the Holocaust will receive its first visitors.

Promote education and research on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism and other forms of racism.

  • The National Agency for Education is given resources and assignments to work in collaboration with the Forum for Living History with democracy-strengthening initiatives in schools, public education and other education for adults with the aim of counteracting anti-Semitism and other forms of racism.

  • The Government proposes that SEK 12 million [about $1.4 million] per year in research funding be distributed by the Swedish Research Council until 2026. Based on the Swedish Research Council's survey of Swedish research on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, which includes the genocide of Roma and anti-Gypsyism, the Swedish Research Council will make recommendations to the government. the research funds shall be distributed.

Fight racism - online and offline.

  • Tailor-made action programs against anti-Semitism, anti-Gypsyism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia and racism against Sami must be developed. 
  • The police authority is tasked with further developing and improving the work to combat hate crimes and other crimes that threaten democracy.
  • The Swedish Defense Research Agency is permanently tasked with conducting surveys of racist expressions in digital environments and analyzing the pro-violence extremist messages that are being spread.
  • Organized racism and support for organized racism must be criminalized. A parliamentary committee to unconditionally examine the possibilities for a clearer criminalization of Holocaust denial is to be appointed.

Promote Jewish life, strengthen the work for Roma inclusion and strengthen the security of civil society.

  • An inquiry into the promotion of Jewish life in Sweden will be appointed and the strategy for Roma inclusion will be strengthened and permanent funding given. The language center for Yiddish and Romani chib will be set up.

  • The state subsidy for security-enhancing measures for organizations in civil society, including religious communities, is greatly strengthened.

Hatred of Jews exists in our history, in right-wing extremist groups, in parts of the left and in Islamist circles. We see anti-Semitism among adults and children who have fled to Sweden from countries where anti-Semitism characterizes schooling and state propaganda. We see conspiracy theories on social media and how the memory of the Holocaust is distorted and exploited for political purposes.

Anti-Semitism goes hand in hand with anti-Gypsyism and other forms of racism. All these expressions of hatred threaten the open society and the principle of the equal value of all human beings. We are not silent and passive in the face of that threat.

Malmö, and Skåne have a special history linked to the Holocaust. Jews who fled across the Sound during World War II came here. It was here that Folke Bernadotte's white buses with survivors from the concentration camps were received.

Today, Malmö is home to many religions and cultures. As in other cities, there is anti-Semitism here. But it is not anti-Semitism that characterizes Malmö, but the courage and willingness to fight it and other forms of racism.

By remembering those who were murdered in the Holocaust, what they were called and what we know about their lives, we resist hatred.

We listen to those who survived. We build institutions to defend memory. And we promise each other never to be blunted and accept anti-Semitism and racism as normal.

Each of us has a responsibility to mark against hatred and racism. Do your duty. Contribute your share. Stand on the right side of the story.

Stefan Löfven , Prime Minister (S)
Märta Stenevi , Minister for Gender Equality and Housing (MP)
Anna Ekström , Minister for Education (S)
Amanda Lind , Minister for Culture and Democracy (MP)