I have stated a couple of times the ongoing need to investigate and publicize the crimes of the Soviet Union and Communism in general. A recent survey out of Sweden confirms this need:
Of the 1004 young Swedes involved in the nationwide poll, 43 percent believed that communist regimes had claimed less than one million lives. A fifth of those surveyed put the death toll at under ten thousand. The actual figure is estimated at around 100 million.The poll also found that 40 percent of young Swedes believed that communism contributed to increased prosperity in the world; 22 percent considered communism a democratic form of government; 82 percent did not regard Belarus as a dictatorship. - The Local, Sweden
Of course they believe this as nobody has told them otherwise. The initial title I had for this post was 'Young Swedes Ignorant when it comes to Communism' but I quickly realized that the title was unfair as this is not the children's/young Swede's fault. It is the fault of their parents, the socialists/Social Democrats and the Government itself.
This information gap has roots that date back many years, according to Anders Hjemdahl."There were strategic reasons. For example, I think the Social Democrats only won one absolute majority in the post-war years. Therefore they had to rely on the support of smaller parties, one of which was the communist party."Another reason is that a large majority of Swedish journalists are left-wingers, many of them quite far left," he said. - The Local, Sweden
This is what happens when you introduce communists into your government. Any sane person will tell you that it is a really stupid thing to do. After all, it's not like they are going to need your help if they gain power. With an honest schooling, covering communism, the facts about the crimes of communism would have been known to the general population. Then there would not be a need to depend on communists in your government, because there would not be any in the government to ally with. Makes you wonder which political groups the Swedish Social Democrats passed over when they chose to collaborate with Communists. This in itself says volumes about 'Social Democrats'.
As for the quite far left Swedish journalists, at least one is taking the side of Russia in the current Russian aggression against Estonia. Journalist (and I use the term loosely) Yrsa Stenius of Sweden's Aftonbladet has written recently in support of the Russians "and calls the communist statue in Tallinn a glorious monument over the victory over Nazism. She also tells all the people in Europe to be proud of the Russians and Soviet Union and this statue". (Ms. Stenius may be a Finn, not a Swede, but has lived in Sweden since 1979 according to her Wikipedia entry. No matter, Finland is infected with the same disease, despite being attacked by the Soviets. As it so happens, she also writes for the Finnish Social Democrat magazine Uutispäivä Demari)
Of course, many Socialists are communist sympathizers, so it was not like they needed the support of the Communists, but wanted their support. After all Communism is a form of Socialism, not that the Socialists are going to admit that to anyone:
Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization, based upon common ownership of the means of production. It can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement - Wikipedia - Communism
As I said before (here) 'The main difference in the two ideologies is to the level that one should go in order to attain the goals. So if you attack the ideals of one, then you are in fact attacking the ideals of the other. And if there is a serious investigation of the crimes of the Soviet Union, a number of current members of Socialist parties in Europe may be implicated in those crimes as well as some of the Communist and Socialist parties currently active in European Politics.'
That statement above certainly holds true for Sweden, which, as it so happens, also has unanswered questions about its activities during WWII in support of Nazi Germany.
You can also place a good portion of the blame on the European Union, which still has yet to address this issue, other than to bring it up and have the Socialist Members vote against any such investigation. Swedish Parliament Member, Mr. Goran Lindblad plainly states the problem thus:
... many politicians still active today have supported, in one way or another, former communist regimes. For obvious reasons they would prefer not to deal with the question of responsibility. In many European countries there are communist parties which have not formally condemned the crimes of communism. Last but not least, different elements of communist ideology such as equality or social justice still seduce many politicians. - Goran Lindblad, Swedish Parliament
So even though the Soviet Union took over half of Europe and threatened the other half, the EU is just going to ignore the crimes of the Soviet Union. This is exactly the type of behavior that Russia needs from the greater EU as it resorts back to its old Soviet tactics of bullying its neighbors. You can even say that the EU Parliament is aiding Russia as it chastises the US over a couple hundred detainees in Guantanamo (many of which were caught violating the laws of war) while Russia abuses the human rights of thousands while members of the press, not in line with the official line from Moscow, continue to die of mysterious curcumstances. (And the press accuse the US of targeting them in Iraq!) Even the assassination of a Kremlin critic by radioactive polonium poisoning has barely stirred any European response outside the UK where the attack took place. This lack of any condemnation will do nothing to stop Russia from taking care of more critics. They will just be more careful next time.
The article also mentions that the Swedish Government recognized the Communist takeover of Estonia and the other Baltic States unlike most of the rest of the Western World. The Swedes should be ashamed for that act alone. Maybe this act could be used as the path for educating the Swedish public. Perhaps through an apology to the Baltic States for recognizing the illegitimate Governments imposed on them by the Soviets, noting the crimes that were committed by the Soviets during their occupation.
Sweden has traditionally been a neutral country. However, neutrality benefits evil as neutral states do not speak out against their actions. This makes the job of other states who are trying to fight the renegade states that much harder. The real joke in all of this is that while Sweden was publicly neutral, they were secretly allied with the US.
During the cold war Sweden maintained a dual approach, publicly the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were kept with the U.S. and it was hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons to strike at Soviet staging areas in the occupied Baltic states in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. Over time and due to the official neutrality dogma, fewer and fewer Swedish military officials were aware of the military cooperation with the west, making such cooperation in the event of war increasingly difficult. At the same time Swedish defensive planning was completely based on help from abroad in the event of war. - Wikipedia
Not exactly neutral isn't it? Too bad it was secret as Sweden would have been less likely to suffer an attack if it was known that the US was prepared to defend them.
While the Soviet Union has fallen apart years ago, Communism still has a strong grip on many parts of Europe. Ironically, it is in the parts of Europe that did not suffer a Soviet Occupation who are their biggest supporters. When will Europe learn to stop protecting those who threaten all of us the most?
Europe's Lingering Scar of Communism - FFI - 23 January 2007