Swedish court reroutes Nazi march away from synagogue on Yom Kippur

A Swedish court has ruled that a violent neo-Nazi group will not be permitted to march near the Gothenburg Synagogue on Yom Kippur.

A Swedish court on Monday ruled to reroute a neo-Nazi march planned for Yom Kippur, which was slated to pass by the local synagogue in Gothenburg.

The Nordic Resistance Movement, a local neo-Nazi organization, had originally asked to march on September 30 along the city’s main street during the Gothenburg Book Fair – the largest book fair in Scandinavia, attended by some 100,000 people.

After that request was denied, the police offered an alternative route that would take the marchers in close proximity of the local synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

Jewish organizations condemned the decision, while the the World Jewish Congress (WJC) operated together with the Jewish community and the Swedish government to prevent the incident.

The WJC welcomed the court’s ruling, saying it was a “very correct and moral decision” to ban the neo-Nazis from marching in the proximity of a synagogue on Yom Kippur.

“Such a march would be rife with implicit dangers and traumatic historical memory, and should never have been allowed in the first place,” the WJC stated. “We hope that this will serve as an important precedent, both in Sweden and in other countries, to prevent any such event from taking place in the future.”

Last week, WJC President Ronald Lauder met with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in New York and emphasized to him that allowing the neo-Nazi march to take place on Yom Kippur in front of a synagogue “was utterly unacceptable.”

The WJC also sent a formal letter of protest to the Swedish Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Morgan Johansson, stressing that “during the Holocaust, the Nazis routinely scheduled major deportations of Jews to concentration and death camps on Jewish holidays, including on Yom Kippur. It is abhorrent that this practice should be emulated today, to the detriment of the Jews of Gothenburg.

“The decision to march on Yom Kippur cannot be viewed as merely symbolic, as suggested by police… Sweden prides itself on the protection of its minorities, and on ensuring the rights of all Swedes to practice their religions without threat. The scheduled Nazi march on Yom Kippur marks a sharp failure on both counts,” the missive said.

“Far too often, Swedish Jews are already forced to hide their Jewish identity due to direct or indirect threats. The planned Nazi march in Gothenburg will only seek to exacerbate an existing climate of anxiety,” the letter underscored.

By: World Israel News Staff