Paul O’Mahony, The Local (Kista, Sweden), May 1, 2007
Sweden’s far-right National Democrat party has announced plans to open a number of pre-schools for ethnic Swedish children only. In the next few weeks the party intends testing the waters by submitting applications to local councils in Uppsala and Södertälje.
The Local spoke to party leader Marc Abramsson to find out why he believes that Sweden needs racially pure kindergartens.
“It is very important that we can build up a safe and Swedish environment for our children. They can have the best possible start in life by growing up with Swedish culture,” he said.
If sent to a pre-school with a multi-cultural flavour, Abramsson believed that Swedish kids risked emerging with “low self-esteem and lacking an ethnic identity”.
According to the National Democrat leader, Sweden resembles eastern Europe under communism, “where they used school to indoctrinate the children.”
As an example, he suggested that politicians “promoted homosexuals’ right to adopt”.
It is worth noting that Marc Abramsson has a history of intolerance when it comes to gay rights.
In 2004 nine members of the party were brought to court following an assault on functionaries at the previous summer’s Gay Pride Festival in Stockholm. Abramsson was sentenced to four months in prison for his part in the attack.
“We want to instill children with Swedish values, nationalistic values. We want them to value more things than just earning money, such as honour and respect,” he said.
Asked whether he would support the creation of, say, ethnic Somali pre-schools, Abramsson replied: “Absolutely, they also need to struggle to preserve their culture.”
But, being an anti-immigration party, there was a catch.
“They should learn about their culture and then move back there,” said Abramsson.
For followers of the National Democrats’ world view, immigration is at the root of most of Sweden’s problems.
“We need to stop mass immigration right away. The problems are soon getting out of control,” said Abramsson, adding that his party would be doing immigrants a favour—even second and third generation immigrants—by trying to get them to leave.
“We should help people return to their own countries. Even if they have been here a long time they still have their own identity and many of them want to go back to their own culture,” said Abramsson.
The Local also tried to reach Vávra Suk, party secretary and citizen of the Czech Republic, but he had travelled to the UK for a meeting with the British Nationalist Party.
Suk is strongly in favour of ethnic Swedish pre-schools. But would not his Czech nationality prevent his children from participating?
“I think he would prefer to return to Czechoslovakia [sic]. He would appreciate having his children in a nationalist pre-school but that would probably be in his own country,” said Abramsson.
But if Suk insisted on sending his children to a Swedish National Democrat pre-school, the party leader would not stand in his way.
“No, because it would be illegal. What is important is the values,” said Abramsson.
The party intends applying for permission to set up its nationalist pre-schools “in the next couple of weeks”.
“We know that there is a strong interest among parents and we hope to extend this to other municipalities. And we don’t want to stop there. We would like to start full schools with these same values,” said Abramsson.
The Local tried without success to reach the relevant spokespersons for Uppsala council, Södertälje council and the Swedish National Agency for Education.