Swedish centre closes amid Nazi threats
THE JEWISH Association (Judisk föreningen) in Umeå, northern Sweden, has closed its community centre in the city following a series of threats and abuse from neo-Nazis.
The association has received threatening emails and phone calls, a member’s car was vandalised and its building defaced with threats such as “we know where you live”.
According to Umeå Jewish Association spokesperson Carinne Sjöberg, the abuse and threats have been a regular occurrence since the centre opened in 2010, but an attack on an elderly member’s car was the last straw.
“They basically destroyed his car and then started hurling things at his window,” Ms Sjöberg said.
“We cannot go on like this any more. Too many things have happened lately. Our children shouldn’t live in a world where they have to be ashamed for what they are, but it’s not possible to operate if people are scared. My mother and father are [Holocaust] survivors, so I feel like I’m in my parents’ shoes.”
Ms Sjöberg lays the blame for the centre’s closure squarely on the local council. “They’ve known about this problem for a long time. They know we need a safer place to meet in the centre of town. But they haven’t done anything about it.”