Anti-Semitism is declining in Sweden


Northern Europe


photo ANP, Remko de Waal

Anti-Semitic attitudes and beliefs are declining in Swedish society, a new survey of the Swedish Forum för levande historia, Forum for Living History, shows.

The forum, which is part of the Swedish Ministry of Culture, conducted the survey under more than 3,500 respondents aged 18 to 79 years late 2020. The purpose of the study was to see how anti-Semitism has developed over the past 15 years. The Forum for Living History conducted a similar survey in 2005.

According to the forum, support for anti-Semitic motives has weakened in these past 15 years. At the same time, the proportion who distances themselves from this type of performance has generally increased.

“There has been an increased understanding of and attention to these issues in society. During the release of the previous report, in 2005, there was much less talk about anti-Semitism”, says Jewish Central Council chairman Aron Verständig to Swedish daily Dagen.

However, according to the report, there are some groups where anti-Semitism seems to have an easier ride. These are mainly older people, people with a Muslim background, and groups who sympathise with the Sweden Democrats.


The report shows that the results of the latter category are in line with what other European countries have shown in terms of anti-Semitic attitudes in electoral groups that sympathize with right-wing populist and right-wing nationalist parties.

Forum’s report goes on by stating that anti-Semitism is linked to trust in social institutions such as the Riksdag, the government and the police.

“Higher trust is related to a lower degree of anti-Semitic attitudes, while negative attitudes towards immigrants and sexist attitudes correlate with a higher degree of anti-Semitism”, the results show.

“Despite the fact that fewer people express anti-Semitic attitudes and beliefs, they are still found in a not insignificant minority of the population. For example, 10 per cent of the respondents answered that “Jews are using the Nazi extermination of the Jews for economic and political purposes”, compared to 14 per cent in 2005.

The prevalence of anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes in Swedish society also shows that anti-Semitism is a serious problem”, says Caroline Källner, acting superintendent at the Forum for Living History to Dagen.

According to Verständig, these results show that although anti-Semitism is less widespread now than in 2005, “we must not sit back”.



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