Sweden is funding trips for the nation’s youth to visit Holocaust memorial sites in an effort to tackle rising anti-Semitism in the Nordic nation.
Fifteen million kronor (1.4 million euros, $1.7 million) has been set aside for government projects over three years to educate young students about Nazi crimes against Jews, Roma communities and other groups.
“Nazism and racism are growing and spreading. We are therefore launching this investment so that more youth can be equipped with the knowledge to tackle the anti-democratic forces that are growing in Sweden,” Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke said in a statement seen by AFP.
Sweden has faced increasingly heavy scrutiny of its immigration and integration policies after a series of shootings, grenade attacks and car bombings in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm.
The country has received more immigrants relative to the size of its population than any other European country in recent years and many of the them have been Muslim.
The rise in anti-Semitism that has followed saw Jewish organisations issue travel warnings over Malmö, the southern Swedish city that has served as a gateway into the country for many immigrants and which has seen a growing number of anti-Semitic incidents.
Now the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism will receive 12.8 million kronor to organise trips to Holocaust remembrance sites, and the Living History Forum, a public authority, is to offer educational tools and resources.
The latest move to ease tensions comes just five months after Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven admitted his country has a problem with anti-Semitism in general and the attitudes of immigrants from the Middle East in particular.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, just three days before Mr. Lofven spoke last December, a group of around 20 masked men hurled firebombs at a Gothenburg synagogue, hours after an anti-Israel march in Sweden’s second largest city.
Chairman of the local Jewish Assembly Allan Stutzinsky reported that around 30 young people were attending a party at the synagogue during the attack, and fled to the basement for safety until police arrived. “There were dozens of masked people throwing burning objects into the courtyard,” he told local media, adding that rain that night helped prevent the building from catching fire.
Tonight,Jewish teenagers hide in the basement of the Gothenburg synagogue after firebombs are thrown at the building.I ask you FM @margotwallstrom & PM Löfven – why will you not protect us Jews?Why do you align yourself with those who want us dead?Why are we not worth protecting?
— Annika H Rothstein (@truthandfiction) December 9, 2017
A 1997 study found that 66 percent of Swedish secondary school students were unsure whether the Holocaust actually happened.
The Living History Forum, which was established in 2003 to provide accurate information in schools about the Holocaust, recently launched a similar study, the results of which will be released later this year.
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