By A. Holmila
Reading how the click in Britain, Sweden and Finland spoke back to the Holocaust instantly after the second one global warfare, Holmila deals new insights into the problem posed by means of the Holocaust for liberal democracies via the reporting of the liberation of the camps, the Nuremberg trial and the Jewish immigration to Palestine.
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Extra info for Reporting the Holocaust in the British, Swedish and Finnish Press, 1945–50
As this chapter will show, we must go beyond the liberal imagination and consider the themes of nationalistic thinking in the Swedish context and the nation’s relationship to Germany, in comparison to Britain’s relationship with Germany. 2 The liberation of the camps and initial reactions in the Swedish press The first week following the liberation of Buchenwald and BergenBelsen, when the atrocity news and photographs began to appear among the main news in Britain, the Swedish press did not place heavy emphasis on the subject.
37 For example, newspapers published articles about Germans having forced tours in concentration camps. 40 The Daily Mirror’s leader writer, pen-name BBB (Bernard Buckham), manifested the strength of enemy image: There are still too many people who fail to appreciate what has been going on all these years; people who find the truth ‘difficult to believe’. Perhaps they are less sceptical now … when the stupid softhearts attempt to draw a distinction between the Nazi warmakers and torturers and the German people as a whole, we must remember that the hundreds of thousands, nay millions of fanatics and sadists who have committed or ordered these crimes are all Teutons.
Before moving on to examine the specifically Swedish response to the liberation of the camps, it must be observed that there was also another reason, besides relying on British and American reports, why there seemed to be little initial discussion about the camps in the Swedish media. This was that, since early 1945, the Swedish government, together with the Swedish Red Cross and the World Jewish Congress (WJC), had been negotiating with Heinrich Himmler in order to release Scandinavian internees from the German concentration camps.