Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sweden, Israel and Nazi Germany

From an old Ha'aretz article (no longer there, this is from the Google cache:)
"From 1937, Swedes wanting to marry Germans of so-called Aryan blood had to give assurance that none of their grandparents belonged to the Jewish race," reads a study on Sweden's church by Anders Jarlert of Lund University.

Newspapers gagged criticism of Hitler, of the occupation of Norway or the murder of millions of Jews in concentration camps, while cultural links between the Nazis and Sweden flourished.

"The government and authorities did what they thought was necessary to keep peace but I think they did more than was necessary," Amark told Reuters in an interview.

"There was not much rationale for a German attack as Germany got what it wanted from Sweden," he said. It was easier to buy iron ore from Sweden than invade and risk it sabotaging iron mines.
Perhaps it is in this context that we can understand why this happened:
Sweden has withdrawn from European military exercises due to be held next month in Italy because of Israel’s participation, Swedish foreign ministry and military officials said on April 26.
The Spring Flag air exercises in Sardinia May 8-25 “have been organized for peacekeeping operations and we don’t want to take part because of Israel’s participation,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Nina Ersman told AFP.
The nine countries due to participate — Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden — were to train together for a future collaboration in international peacekeeping operations.

But Israel would unlikely be able to be involved in any such peacekeeping operations, the foreign ministry said, calling into question the need for the exercises.

OK, quick thought exercise: Would Sweden have withdrawn if Egypt or Kuwait would have participated?

UPDATE: Sweden cozies up to Hamas.