Blue and yellow, in Russia these are the colors of the enemy. “We are against Nazism,” read posters at bus stations in Moscow this week. “I’m not like that.” The word “Sie” was marked on the labels in blue and yellow, the national color of those who were insulted. No, it is not the flag of Ukraine, it is the flag of Sweden that appears from here. Those marked on the poster as Nazis and sympathizers are Swedish icons. Above: children’s book author Astrid Lindgren, followed by director Ingmar Bergman and IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad.
Swedes rubbed their eyes in disbelief after posters in Russian appeared in front of the Swedish embassy in Moscow and spread like wildfire across their country on social media. “The Russian influence campaign on Sweden has begun,” said one commentator.
Not surprisingly, Russian propaganda has been critical of the Nazi club since it declared the invasion of Ukraine an operation to “destroy” the country. The statements of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who in an interview identified the most ardent anti-Semitism among Jews and the lineage of Jewish blood of Adolf Hitler, with difficulty.
The Nazi accusation became coded “for all who are against Russia.”
The Swedes were still shocked, and the tabloid wrote: “Now they are trying to reach our holiest.” Aftonbladet. Astrid Lindgren, of all people. When everyone knows that his grandmother was “a staunch opponent of Nazism,” said Olly Niemann, grandson of Lindgren.
The posters were printed by the “Our Victory” organization, which observers suspect is the Kremlin’s propaganda. They put quotes from the three who were attacked next to their photos. In the case of Astrid Lindgren, creator of Pippi Longstocking, it’s a diary entry from the summer of 1940: “I’d rather say ‘Heil Hitler’ for the rest of my life than have the Russians with us in Sweden for the rest of my life.”
The quote is real. It has been taken out of context. It dates back to the time when Russia and Nazi Germany made common cause in the Hitler-Stalin Pact. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union a year later, Astrid Lindgren described the two powers as “two terrifying lizards fighting each other.” Like many other Swedes, Astrid Lindgren feared the threat that the Bolshevik lizard posed to her country. At the same time, she did not hide her disgust with the Nazis. Germany describes Hitler as a “vicious beast” and writes: “It is a shame that no one shoots Hitler.” It also quarrels with Sweden’s wartime neutrality – a neutrality that allowed Sweden at times to cooperate with Nazi Germany and so deeply disappointed its neighbors: Norway and Denmark felt abandoned.
The fact that the founder of Ikea Ingvar Kamprad was an ardent fascist at an early age is not new, he later publicly regretted it. Director Ingmar Bergman’s quotes also come from the writings of Bergman himself, in which he described how, as a young man, he raised his arm in Hitler’s salute and hung a picture of Hitler above his bed. Later – missing on the posters – Bergmann describes his defamation of Nazism in the face of images of liberated concentration camps, shockingly “incomprehensible”. “I cannot understand how one can sympathize with the Nazis,” he said in 1999.
It is no coincidence that the Russians classify Sweden as a hotbed of Nazi sympathizers: like Finland, Sweden is on the verge of giving up its nonaligned status and joining NATO. Jacob Hidenscu of the Stockholm Institute of International Affairs said the Nazi accusation had now been emptied of all history in Moscow and was merely a symbol for “anyone against Russia”. Sweden was identified as an enemy due to its affinity with NATO. Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson condemned the posters as “unacceptable” and warned of further “influence operations” https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/. Aftonbladet“This is only the beginning.”