Per Engdahl

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Per Engdahl
Personal details
Born Per Claes Sven Edvard Engdahl
(1909-02-25)25 February 1909
Jönköping
Died 4 May 1994(1994-05-04) (aged 85)
Malmö
Nationality Swede
Political party Sweden's Fascist Struggle Organization, New Swedish Movement, National League of Sweden, European Social Movement

Per Claes Sven Edvard Engdahl (25 February 1909 – 4 May 1994) was a leading Swedish far right politician. He was the leader of Sveriges Fascistiska Kamporganisation, SFKO (Sweden's Fascist Struggle Organization) during the 1920s.

Career[edit]

Born in Jönköping, Engdahl began his career as an independent in Uppsala, advocating a fascist-influenced policy of his own creation which he called nysvenskhet ('new Swedishness'). An attempt was made in 1932 to incorporate his group into the newly formed Nationalsocialistiska folkpartiet of Sven Olov Lindholm (a pro-Nazi party) although Engdahl resisted their overtures.[1]

As an ideology, nysvenskhet supported a strong Swedish nationalism, corporatism, anti-Semitism and anti-communism as well as a cult of personality around Engdahl himself. The policy overtly rejected Nazism, instead looking more towards Benito Mussolini for inspiration while also seeking to unify all groups against democracy, whether they were fascist or not.[2] However, he is also known to have praised Hitler in comments such as: "Today [23 april 1944], we can only salute Adolf Hitler as God's chosen savior of Europe" [3]

Engdahl founded his own group, Riksförbundet Det nya Sverige, in 1937. Before long he merged this group into the pro-Nazi National League of Sweden, becoming deputy leader of this organisation. Adopting a policy which he described as nysvenskhet ('new Swedishness') he split from this group in 1941 to lead his own Nysvenska Rörelsen which continued to strongly support the Nazis. Before the end of the war his supporters had united in the Svensk Opposition (Swedish Opposition) which also included the supporters of Birger Furugård.[4] The group advocated Swedish entry into World War II on the Axis side and went public with this aim in 1942,[5] but in fact the country successfully stayed neutral.

After World War II, Engdahl revived Nysvenska Rörelsen, publishing a paper, Vägen Framåt ('The Way Forward'), that concerned itself with attacks on communism and capitalism.[6] He also became a leading figure in the European neo-fascist scene, and was instrumental in setting up the European Social Movement in 1951, hosting the meeting in his home base of Malmö.[7] Although this group proved unsuccessful, Engdahl continued to be active in such circles for many years.[8] He died in Malmö.

Legacy[edit]

His name once again became controversial after his death, when some of his personal correspondence was released, revealing that Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, had been a member of Engdahl's groups during the war.[9]

References[edit]

  • Hagtvet, Bernt (1980). "On the Fringe: Swedish Fascism 1920-1945". Who Were the Fascists: Social Roots of European Fascism. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press. ISBN 82-00-05331-8. 
  1. ^ Hagtvet, p. 727
  2. ^ Hagtvet, p. 731
  3. ^ Lööw, Hélene (2004). Nazismen i Sverige 1924 - 1979. ISBN 91-7324-684-0. S. 50
  4. ^ Hagtvet, p. 729
  5. ^ Hagtvet, p. 735
  6. ^ Hagtvet, pp. 739-740
  7. ^ Anders Widfeldt: "A fourth phase of the extreme right? Nordic immigration-critical parties in a comparative context". In: NORDEUROPAforum (2010:1/2), 7-31, http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/nordeuropaforum/2010-1/widfeldt-anders-7/XML/
  8. ^ Tauber, Kurt P. (December 1959). "German Nationalists and European Union". Political Science Quarterly 74 (4): 568–571. doi:10.2307/2146424. 
  9. ^ Kaye, Helen; Wohlgelernter, Elli (6 April 2001). "Swedish goulash and sofas whet Israeli appetites at Netanya Ikea". J weekly.