‘How Sweden Became Multicultural’
Perhaps 10 years ago for 25-cents I picked up at a garage sale the April, 1963 edition of National Geographic Magazine containing a meticulously-researched 40-page article about Sweden detailing the scintillating success of all aspects of life in that — at the time — idyllic Nordic nation.
The Andrew H. Brown article, titled “Sweden, Quiet Workshop for the World,” states that the nation of then only 7.5 million “shares with Switzerland the highest standard of living in Europe,” and that “racially, Swedes are remarkably homogeneous; there has been little infusion of outside blood.”
Brown further wrote, “in my 5,000-mile journey through Sweden, I found its people striving always for refinement, for excellence, and everywhere I saw the results of this determination: an air of confident prosperity. Sweden has no slums.”
Longtime Swedish Prime Minister (1946-69) Tage Erlander in 1965 publicly declared in response to violent race riots in the Watts slums of Los Angeles, “we Swedes live in such an infinitely happier situation. The population in our country is homogeneous, not only in terms of race, but also in many other aspects.”
How times have changed. In 1900, foreign-born citizens accounted for less than one percent of Sweden’s population. By 2016 foreign-born citizens had exploded to 17.9 percent — with no end in sight. Since deciding to become “multicultural” during the 1960s and 1970s, the Swedish government has elected to take in at taxpayer expense more than one million unskilled immigrants, largely from non-Western Islamic countries.
Why and how did this happen? It was not some nebulous, fatalistic inevitability of the modern world, but rather a calculated decision by a few. In a new book, “How Sweden Became Multicultural: The Hidden Agenda, the Process, the Lobbyists,” Meister Eckehart provides a window into radical policy changes that were implemented without the consent of the Swedish people.
“The fact that Sweden is a multicultural country is today repeated ad nauseum by the media, and the diversity is no longer exclusively found in urban areas but has begun to spread to smaller communities,” Eckehart writes in the preface. “Remarkably little is said however about how and why Sweden came to identify as a multicultural country.”
Originally published in Swedish in 2007, How Sweden Became Multicultural was updated by the author with new data, seamlessly translated into English by William Johansson, and republished in 2017. It is available online for $12.50 through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Eckehart recounts how a catalyst for change was a series of newspaper debates that began in 1964 when David Schwarz, a Polish-born Jew who in 1954 came to live in Sweden, wrote an extensive article from the immigrant perspective for Dagens Nyheter newspaper about refugees in Sweden.
“Schwarz was the first person that seriously lobbied for Sweden to change its policy from one of cultural homogeneity to cultural pluralism,” Eckehart explains. Schwarz had subjectively asserted that immigrants should be “unconditionally” permitted to retain their culture, and that Sweden “needed” to become a “nation with many cultures.”
In the months and years that followed, additional agitators ? also primarily with as Eckehart notes a foreign-born Jewish background — joined Schwarz to amplify the drumbeat. “Jews came to dominate the faction of the newspaper debates that demanded the implementation of cultural pluralism. During the critical period 1964-68 Jews initiated 13 out of 17 newspaper debates and all were in favor of multiculturalism.”
Initiating and fanning the flames of public discord was not the extent of the work of these subversive activists. During the same time period, Schwarz and others were close with and doggedly lobbied powerful officials such as Prime Minister Erlander, and Minister of Education Olof Palme. Palme himself became prime minister in 1969, and it was under his rule that the bill formally declaring that Sweden was to become multicultural — the “Government’s proposal for guidelines for immigrant and minority policy” — passed on Feb. 27, 1975.
“A few decades ago,” according to Eckehart, “the stated goal of public policy was to retain a homogeneous Swedish culture. Foreign ethnic groups were almost exclusively Europeans from neighboring countries and they were all expected to assimilate with the native Swedish population — the implementation of multiculturalism in 1975 — was foremost a victory for minorities and a loss for Swedes, thus the native Swedish population ceded sovereignty over the only geographic area in the world solely dedicated to the Swedish people and their culture.”
How Sweden Became Multicultural is brief but enlightening, the length of a well-documented master’s thesis. It does not address some current issues, such as the overwhelming masses of “refugees” Sweden has been forced by their European Union overlords to absorb since 2015, the appalling epidemic of rape and sexual assault against native ethnic Swedish women by primitive Islamic Muslim immigrants, or other sundry late tragic developments. But for a glimpse into the beginnings of the rapid, intentional deconstruction of traditional Sweden as we have always known it, this book contributes a key piece of the puzzle to informing one’s understanding.
Newkirk L. Johnson is a Swedish-American residing in Warren, Pa.