Holocaust Survivors' Network
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Sweden and the Holocaust


Danish refugees
Sweden was involved in many efforts to save Jews from Nazi brutality and murder. In 1942, Sweden allowed the immigration of 900 Norwegian Jews. In October 1943, Sweden gave asylum to more than 8,000 Danish Jews, the whole Danish Jewish community, which came to Sweden via small fishing boats. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saved thousands of Hungarian Jews in Budapest. Also, Count Folke Bernadotte helped bring Jews and non-Jews out of concentration camps.

Sweden also profited from the Holocaust. It is known that Wallenberg's relatives made money converting Nazi gold into Swedish crowns and that Sweden provided iron ore and ball bearings to the Nazis. Swedish documents reveal that some Swedes actually sided with the Nazis and volunteered to fight for Hitler. Some Swedes were members of the Waffen SS and served in police batallions.



A committee was established by the Swedish government in 1997 to investigate the transfer of Nazi gold to Sweden during the war. It is reported that Sweden received 38 tons of gold from Nazi Germany (worth today US $430 million). Many Swedish companies, such as Ericsson, AGA and Hasselblad Cameras, as well as the country's paper and wood industries traded with Nazi Germany. Swedish jewelers bought stolen diamonds, which were smuggled into Sweden by civil servants working at the German legation in Stockholm.


The Virtual Jewish History Tour
By Rebecca Weiner