Neo-Nazi threats force Jewish centre to shut down in Sweden

A Jewish centre in Umeå, a town in northern Sweden, has voted to shut itself down after ongoing threats from neo-Nazis.

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The neo-Nazi group Nordfront reportedly sent threatening emails and vandalised the centre with swastika graffiti, Nazi stickers and messages like ‘we know where you live’.

Spokeswoman Carinne Sjöberg told local media the group reluctantly made the decision because they felt vulnerable to the threats.

“Too many things have happened recently which mean that Jewish parents do not feel safe to have their children in schools,” she told regional news program SVT Vasterbotten.

“I have also been visited in my home and we receive threatening emails all the time.”

Ms Sjöberg said she found the ordeal very upsetting.

“This is not the Umeå I know, something has happened. When incidents occur where Jewish children are threatened because of their origin, then it’s gone too far.”

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In 2015 the town made headlines when it failed to invite the Jewish association to a “Umeå against Nazism” – organisers reportedly thought the association would be too scared to attend.

Local politician Peder Westerberg said it was “surreal and creepy” to have neo-Nazis in Umeå, a city of 122,000 people.

“It’s completely unacceptable and it’s important that the association is getting the support they need. I won’t let the Nazis win, and I know that there are many that stand up against these undemocratic forces, ” he said.

Mathias Sundin MP, Chairman of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association, said the news was “disgusting and despicable.”

“Nazism stands for the darkest chapter in human history. It is completely unacceptable that people today in Sweden can be intimidated into silence.”

Watch: 75 years since Australia joined the effort to stop the Nazi March

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