Swedish cen­tre closes amid Nazi threats

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY PAUL CON­NOLLY

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.”

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