Jewish community centre in Sweden forced to close after neo-Nazi hate campaign

Tom Porter
Jewish skull caps

A Jewish community association in northern Sweden has announced it is closing following a series of threats from far-right extremists, only seven years after it opened.

The tow centre in Umea was daubed with Nazi swastikas, threats against members, and a car was vandalised. Threats were also sent to members via email.

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Members of the community said that police had been unable to provide security and that people no longer dared to come to the centre.

Community spokeswoman Carinne Sjoberg told the BBC that neo-Nazi group Nordfront was responsible for the hate campaign, initially targeting her then other members of the community.

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In an interview with Sweden's SVT, she said: "Too many things have happened lately which mean that Jewish parents don't feel safe having their kids at the schools. Our children shouldn't need to 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."

The community of Umea has said it will open another centre nearer the middle of the town, which is easier to protect.

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In 2015, Swedish anti-racism group Expo reported that Neo-Nazi groups' activity in their northern Swedish heartlands had increased by 40% over the previous year, with members engaging in racist leafleting and poster campaigns and holding combat training camps.

Jews have also reportedly been targeted by Islamic extremists in the southern city of Malmo.

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