Dec 25, 2023, 9:00 PM
Journalist ID: 1852
News ID: 85333399
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Why Sweden is so influenced by Jews?

Dec 25, 2023, 9:00 PM
News ID: 85333399
Why Sweden is so influenced by Jews?
Israeli regime’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with delegation of Swedish parliament members in the occupied Quds on August 28 2023.

An investigation into the history of Jews’ influence in Sweden provides considerable points to researches, intellectuals and even the public.

After 1782, Jews were gradually assured of a relaxation of state restrictions, but many of them, especially those living in Stockholm, sought greater opportunities and wanted to avoid being deprived because of their religion. A feeling of resentment arose among the general public against ambitious Jews of Stockholm, many of whom were wealthy investors. Anger grew over the wealth gap between Jews and others.

This public anger reached its peak in 1838. After a new decree was issued which abolished almost all restrictions on Jewish citizenship rights (in which the Jews were identified for the first time as Musaites, i.e. the followers of the Mosaic faith). There was a serious uprising in the capital, and numerous complaints were made to the government, which on September 21 of the same year was forced to repeal the new decree.

Over the course of the following years, the book market was flooded with brochures in support of and against Mosaiter (adherents of the Mosaic faith). The quarrel between pros and cons of the Jewish community continued until 1840, until the time when some members of the landed gentry and burghers, who had seats at the Riksdag (Swedish word for assembly) requested that the 1782 ruling be restored in its original format. Friends of the Jewish community attempted to pretend that the petitioners were provoked by religious intolerance, but their adversaries overtly announced that the issue had nothing to do with religion but race. Anti-Semitic lawmakers of the Swedish parliament endeavored to prove that the Jewish community had significantly abused the rights and advantages granted to the community in 1782, and that they committed the wrongdoings at the expense of harm to native Lutheran merchants.

In the second half of the 19th century, the Jewish community got rid of a few remaining shortcomings. In accordance with the law of October 26, 1860, the Jews were entitled to obtain real estate and properties in rural societies, while they had been merely allowed ownership in urban areas in the past. On January 20, 1863, the prohibition of marriage between Jews and Christians, which had been declared legal earlier, was removed based on another verdict on condition that proper ceremonies were observed. A following decree (October 31, 1873) stipulated that the matter of marriage between members of Sweden’s state church and Jewish people must be raised based on Lutheran rituals. Nevertheless, if prior to a marriage ceremony, a religious accord for the future children had been written and the parents surrendered them to a priest or another expert witness who solemnized the marriage, this promise should remain binding.

Conversely, there were different privileges that Jewish people, like any non-Lutheran person, could not acquire as long as the existing constitution of the Swedish monarchy was in effect. Hence, they could not elevate to cabinet member status. They could not serve as judges or committee members discussing religious subjects. Otherwise, the Jews possessed similar rights and were subject to the same responsibilities as Lutheran inhabitants.

According to 1890 statistics, some 3,402 Jews were living in the entire Kingdom of Sweden. However, the number of Jewish residents has jumped significantly since that time, and the Jewish Encyclopedia conservatively estimated their population at 4,000 in 1905.

The 20th Century

A law granting Jewish people equal legal rights was approved by the Swedish parliament in 1910.

Between 1850 and 1920, a large number of Ashkenazi Jews migrated from Russia and Poland to Sweden, and the Jewish population increased to 6,500 in the country by 1920.

During the years before the war and when Hitler came to power (1933-1939), about 3,000 Jews migrated from Germany to Sweden.

Sweden was impartial during World War II. Many Norwegian and Danish Jews came to Sweden during that time. In 1942, 900 Norwegian Jews migrated to Sweden, and most importantly, almost the entire Danish Jewish community, about 8,000 people, was transferred to Sweden in October 1943.

German companies were allowed to fire Jewish employees in Sweden. Also, Sweden's immigration policy during the 1930s was restrictive against Jewish immigrates trying to escape to Sweden.

Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat, also provided Swedish diplomatic support to thousands of Hungarian Jews in Budapest by providing "diplomatic passports".

The Wallenberg family also rented 32 buildings with US funds and declared them Swedish diplomatic missions, thus placing them under the protection of diplomatic immunity.

The Jewish Wallenberg family is the richest Swedish family.

The Wallenberg family runs one of the most powerful business companies in Europe with a value of over $275 million. A series of banks and large business companies has made this family one of the richest families in Sweden.

This family benefited from both sides of the war during the World War and still controls Sweden's largest bank and Swedish arms - Gun & weapon makers-companies.

This family controls a major part of Sweden's capital market and gross production, and 10% of Sweden's population work in the group of companies owned by this family.

The Jewish population doubled in Sweden in the period of 1945 to 1970.

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