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Sweden: Alexandra Pascalidou meets her neo-Nazi tormentor

What sort of activities did you engage in as part of the "movement?"

We had lectures about the "true history" of the Second World War. We rented farms under false names and practiced fighting out in the woods. We learned to kill with knives and fists, going for the throat, for the kidneys. I carried a knife constantly for two and a half years and was never stopped by the police.

We ate only Swedish food, never foreign food. Once I happened to eat a pizza and had such a bad conscience that I was afraid they would find out and kill me. The first thing I did after I dropped out was to have a pizza and Coca-Cola.

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We destroyed other people's property. We threatened people who disagreed with us through their children. You get to them on a deeper level like that. We destroyed the children's bicycles. We showed that we knew which nursery schools their children went to. We followed them to the nursery school and took pictures of the children to send home [to the parents].

I remember one beating when I was 17. It was a 16-year-old boy who behaved like he was gay. We knew he found a particular guy attractive. So that guy pretended to ask him out. We lured him out to the woods and beat him up. There were six or seven of us. I'm astonished that he's still alive today.

And of course we threatened immigrants.

Neo-Nazis hold up signs showing prominent Swedes, including Alexandra Pascalidou, and the word Criminal!' at a demonstration in Gothenburg in September 2017

Alexandra Pascalidou has been a target of hate for Swedish neo-Nazis for years. "Förbrytare" means "criminal"

What kind of things did you read?

I read "Mein Kampf" from cover to cover several times. I read the early, forbidden version that a relative whose father had been a Nazi in Sweden in the 1930s gave me.

We romanticized Hitler. He was the scapegoat who was blamed for the war crimes. We said that it was Russian communists who had had concentration camps, that there were no six million Jews at that time [a trope employed by Holocaust deniers — Editor's note]. Hitler was my idol – and Joseph Goebbels, Rudolf Hess, Josef Mengele.

We were only allowed to read news from the National Socialist press. Other news was just Jewish propaganda.

'Zionist slaves'

Martin went on to tell me that Jews are at the top of the neo-Nazis' list of enemies. He said they believe that "the Jews created the Muslims" and that "the Jews are behind the terrorist attacks." They called the police "Zionist slaves."

What do you think when you look back on these conspiracy theories?

I can't understand how I could have been so stupid.

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Neo-Nazis have murdered numerous people in Sweden. Was that something you talked about?

They were traitors. And traitors deserved to die. Now that I have left the organization, I will be considered a traitor. But I've done so much harm in my life that I feel this is my penance.

And me? Who was I in your eyes?

Year in and year out, you fought openly for the equal value of all people. You openly criticized neo-Nazism and racism. That made you into the face of Zionism in Sweden. You were the scum of the earth. Sorry. I am terribly sorry for that now.

What did you say about me?

"You should die."

Police grapple with neo-Nazis in Gothenburg in September 2017

Martin Karlsson says he might not have become a neo-Nazi if adults had confronted him about it

What did you do [to harm me]?

In my active years I commented a lot on public forums, such as Facebook and Twitter, under several different pseudonyms. I also wrote comments on Nordfront [the NRM website] when they wrote about you. It could be things like "Die, you damned Zionist slave," "We'll get you when you least expect it," "Avoid dark alleys," "I'll visit you this evening and take my axe." I was exclusively occupied with internet hate, as by then my fingerprints were in the police register.

What did you want to achieve?

Silence. That you would be so frightened that you would disappear. But you never were.

I was afraid at times.

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