Jewish groups in Sweden appeal against neo-Nazi march


Sweden's main organisation for Jews is appealing a police decision to grant the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) permission to stage a march near a synagogue in Gothenburg on September 30, according to the Swedish paper The Local.

The march is set not only to pass near the synagogue, but also to fall on the same day as the major holy Jewish holiday Yom Kippur – a day of atonement observed by fasting and prayer.

'It's the day of the year when many Jews who normally don't go to the synagogue will gather there. On this day, the police have decided to grant the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement permission to march through Gothenburg, no more than a stone's throw away from the synagogue,' Aron Verständig, chairman of The Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, and Allan Stutzinky, chairman of the Jewish Community in Gothenburg, wrote in an opinion piece in the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

'Aside from out of fear for our own security, it evokes uncomfortable associations for us Jews. During the Holocaust it wasn't unusual for the German Nazis to conduct their horrendous atrocities on the most important days of the Jewish calendar,' they added.

The NRM had initially sought permission to stage the march on one of Gothenburg's main avenues, Kungsportsavenyn, but were only granted the permit after they changed the route.

'Let them stay in the periphery, where they belong,' Verständig and Stutzinky wrote.

Several counter-protests are expected to demonstrate against the NRM.

Earlier this year, the anti-racism group Expo said that the NRM was the driving force behind a surge in neo-Nazi activity in Sweden in 2016, with widespread distribution of propaganda in the form of stickers and flyers.

Expo researcher Jonathan Leman told The Local at the time: 'They're at the most extreme end of this white supremacist area. There's a lot of crime associated with them, they have a relationship with violence.'