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JUNE 10, 2010 3:25PM

Swedish millionaire said to be behind Auschwitz sign theft

Rate: 12 Flag

Confronting the "immigration Holocaust":
A European neo-Nazi
(Source: Wiki)

THE SIGN OVER THE gateway to Auschwitz concentration camp bearing the infamous slogan “Work sets you free,” which was stolen by three Polish men last December 18, may have been purloined on behalf of a Swedish millionaire. (I already wrote about the Auschwitz theft here and here.) According to today’s edition of the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, Lars-Göran Wahlström, a familiar figure in the Swedish neo-Nazi movement, had asked his friend Anders Högström to arrange the theft for money. Högström, a former neo-Nazi who until recently had been working to educate young Swedes about the evils of right wing extremism, was later arrested and admitted to having hired the three Poles to do the job. They have since received jail sentences of between one and a half and two and a half years. Högström is still awaiting trial in Poland.

Högström revealed Wahlström’s name during recent questioning in Poland. He already made similar comments upon his arrest in Sweden last January, but Wahlström told the Swedish press at the time that his involvement was merely a figment of Högström’s imagination. Another story that appeared in the newspapers back then, namely that proceeds from the stolen sign would be used to finance a violent overthrow of the Swedish government, turned out to be a hoax.

Wahlström is a familiar figure in the Swedish neo-Nazi scene and has been a member of virtually every far-right, white supremacist movement that country has brought forth since the 1990s. While neo-Nazi parties vary in their brutality, their demands usually include the expulsion of Jews, Gypsies and foreigners, the introduction of racial biology classes in schools, autocratic leadership, the suppression of the political Left, and an aggressive foreign policy. Between the 1920s and 1940s, the Italian Fascists and the German National Socialists together with their allies across Europe murdered upwards of ten million people and started a World War in the pursuit of their vision.

Swedish real estate magnate and neo-Nazi
Lars-Göran Wahlström (on the right)
(Source: Aftonbladet)

The Wahlström connection – assuming it is genuine – is just another reminder of the far-flung network of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Scandinavia and across Europe, Russia, and North America. Far right movements are alive and well throughout the continent. In Sweden alone (as researched by the late journalist and crime author Stieg Larsson in his investigative magazine Expo), skinheads and other right wing radicals have been responsible for numerous assaults on immigrants, particularly Muslims, and have intimidated thousands of others in recent years. The goal, according to the racist Swedish "Folkfront," is "an ethnically homogeneous living space." Just like their role models from the first half of the twentieth century, Europe's white supremacists are always victims and never perpetrators. One consistent meme is that the "white race" is facing its own "Holocaust" and must defend itself accordingly. Just three days ago, a speaker at a far right conference in the Swedish town of Södertälje proclaimed:

This mass immigration that we have, which is politically motivated, is leading to the Swedes' physical extermination. It might not happen tomorrow, but it will happen soon if we do not turn this ship around.

Whether a Nazi-like movement ever makes it back into real political power depends as much on economic and social developments in Europe as on the response of its opponents. The Muslim immigration debate is fueling the fire. As Nordic temperatures rise over the headscarf issue and the seemingly endless Mohammed caricature controversy, let me suggest that for the moment at least, when it comes to actual violence the real “Muslim threat” – just like the “Yellow Peril” and the “Jewish World Conspiracy” that preceded it – is still occurring to Muslims and not coming from them. They understand that even if their European neighbors don’t.


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europe, poland, neo-nazis, sweden

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Now that is very, very interesting.
I know firsthand that they are out there, just like the communists, because I have been both approached by, and victimized by, both.
Thanks for posting.
Very interesting, thanks for the post. I am thinking there is even more to this story. R
it's much easier to raise this kind of hatred in a society with endemic unemployment and poor quality public education. you would think sweden of all places would be barren ground for skin-heads.

but rich people can afford to encourage this kind of thinking, and all too many do.
Every society harbors some monsters and Sweden is no exception it appears. Ironically, the modern Nazi appears to be just as happy to gas a Muslim as a Jew.
Modern Nazism is alive and well - just one more symbolic act to assure us of that fact.
Thanks [?], Alan ... and all previous post-ers -

My own current concern is the rise of the whole fascist or neo-fascist historical phenomenon pretty much (might I dare suggest?) everywhere. [Like in, say, red-white-and-blue USA?]

Like a lot of us, I often come to OS for good fun, "strokes" and needed laughter and cameraderie. But all of us -- for ?"G'ds"? sake, whatever our age, nationality, religious [or agnostic/atheistic] definitions and experiences have experienced this part of our shared human history.

Question facing us all right now: What can we _do_? Now. What ?can? we do; what _will_ we do?

For starters, I hope OS will keep this thread open a good long time and that many people will post here.

Arbeit -- in that filthy venomous lie -- macht nicht Frei but perhaps ... if we can extract some of the venom ... some kind of "work" (like reading OS and posting at odd hours) and our attempted connexions with one another can do ?Something?

I don't wish or intend to be alarmist but, hey guys, I'm ... um ... growin' old (a little short of 80) and I do think there are cycles in history and no nation (or time?) is exempt.

So alongside speculations about who did what about which ?ikons? of earlier periods of fascism (Naziism) ... I hope some (many?) of us here can pull our energies together as effectively as we can see how, to... What? [I didn't mean to get on a soap box but I'm WORRIED.] So how's about, for starters: "do our bit"?

Apologies for ?"rant"?. Have a good weekend, everyone.

My first knowledge of the extent of neo-Nazism was via Stieg Larsson's second crime novel, The Girl Who Played with Fire. The fight for truth suffered a big loss with Larsson's death.
Sign-stealing is a felony?
For the most part Sweden is a very tolerant country. One Swede, the famous Wallenberg I believe helped thousands of Jews excape the death camps during WW2. They try and be a just society with a lot invested in social services and taking care of the underpriveleged. They also feel a lot for injustices taking place around the world. I'd say most of them would stand behind the Palestinians in their quest for freedom from occupation and oppression.
Famous Swedish author Henning Mankell was on board the Gaza flotilla. He will no doubt be writing about his experience.
Almost every day people, particularly in the West are reminded of the holocaust thru' at least one of the countless channels; while on average a couple of Palestinians are shot dead every day ( total killed every year divided by 365 ). I do not understand how people who would like others to remember their suffering contribute directly to the suffering of others. Nazi hatred of Jews and Israeli hatred of Palestinians both need to be condemned.
Thanks for this, Alan.