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New ADL Report Urges Action Against ‘Fanatically Antisemitic’ Scandinavian Neo-Nazi Organization

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A Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) march in Sweden, May 1, 2019. Photo: Screenshot.

A new report into the activities of a violent Scandinavian neo-Nazi organization has urged governments in the region to “contain” the threat it poses by working across national borders.

The report into the activities of Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) was published on Monday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Expo Foundation — an anti-racist NGO based in Sweden, where the NRM is registered as a political party.

The “fanatically antisemitic” NRM had made hatred of Jews “the centerpiece of its propaganda and its activism,” the report said.

“What is so alarming about the Nordic Resistance Movement is its obsession with violence and its antisemitic core beliefs,”  Sharon Nazarian, ADL Senior Vice President of International Affairs, said in an accompanying statement. “Their name refers to its belief that it is fighting a war of resistance against Jews and they have held hundreds of combat training sessions in preparation for what they claim will be the overthrow of European democracies.”

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The report noted that in 2020, NRM activists distributed propaganda materials in all of Sweden’s 290 municipalities. In the same year, viciously antisemitic posters and stickers appeared at several synagogues on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, their purpose to “make the Nordic people aware of foreign customs and Zionist ruling plans throughout the Nordic region,” according to the NRM. As a result of those outrages, Aron Verständig — chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Sweden — called for a region-wide ban on the organization.

As well as in Sweden, the NRM is active in Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland. An attempt to overturn a Finnish ban on the group failed in September 2020, when the High Court in Helsinki deemed that the NRM operated “in violation of the law and accepted principles of morality.”

According to the report, the “explicitly stated political objective of the NRM is to carry out a revolution to overthrow democracy and replace it with a Nazi dictatorship to encompass all of Scandinavia and the Nordic region. The group has declared it will not rest until its banner flies atop the parliaments of the Nordic countries, and the revolutionary objective is the premise and motive for all of the NRM’s activities and operations.”

The report continued: “Once they have established their dictatorship, the organization will direct the government to identify and cleanse the state’s territory of so- called ‘racially alien’ (rasfrämmande) and ‘Volk-hostile’ (folkfientliga) elements.”

The NRM’s main presence is in Sweden, where it is organized into eight divisions known as “nests.” The most recent study of membership numbers found “196 active NRM members, a significant decrease in numbers, and a slight increase in average age to 35. The gender balance remained constant at 83 percent male and 17 percent female, as did the conviction statistics,” the report said.

Despite its declining membership, the NRM “remains active, dangerous, and a threat to Jews, people of color and political opponents. Nordic governments must act to contain this threat,” the report stressed.

Among the report’s four recommendations was a call for Nordic governments to step up their cooperation against the NRM.

“Right-wing extremism, of which the Nordic Resistance Movement is a prominent example, today constitutes a global movement and a transnational threat. Governments must develop and deepen multilateral cooperation to counter this threat on both the political and administrative levels,” the report stated. “It is no longer sufficient to consider violent right-wing extremists as the concern and responsibility only of the countries in which they are based.”

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