John Hron (25 January 1981 – 17 August 1995) was a Swedish 14-year-old boy who was tortured and murdered by four young neo-Nazis. The month before his death, Hron had won a bronze medal in the national canoeing youth championships.
Hron had been camping with a friend by the small lake Ingetorpssjön near his home town Kode in Kungälv Municipality on the night of his murder. Four young men (a 15-year-old, a 17-year-old, and two 18-year-olds) appeared, who all had strong ties to the neo-Nazi skinhead subculture and especially the militant Nazi network Vitt Ariskt Motstånd. Hron knew the youngest, Mikael Fjällholm, from school. Mikael, who had been a bully at the school both he and Hron attended, said in his testimony, "I must have scared every last one in that school." Hron, who was known for speaking his mind, had come in conflict with Mikael and the neo-Nazi gang before after the gang had threatened to kill Hron.
On the evening of 17 August 1995, while Hron was camping with his friend Christian, the group of neo-Nazis walked up to their campsite near the lake and told Hron to say that he "loves Nazism". Hron, being known for standing up against racism, refused and was then beaten brutally.
The four began kicking him in the head, hitting him, throwing heavy cans of beer in his face, and taunting him verbally. They would intersperse their beatings with suddenly acting friendly, offering him beers, and apologizing, just to continue beating him again, in what was described as a sadistic "cat-and-mouse"-like torture that went on for hours. They jump-kicked him, kicked him in the back of his head, struck his neck with a flaming piece of wood and burnt him, stomped on his stomach, destroyed his belongings and set fire to the tent he had shared with Christian. Hron and Christian begged several times for the neo-Nazis to let them go home, but this simply angered the gang who continued hitting Hron until he could no longer stand. Hron was eventually thrown or pushed into the lake, still alive. He tried to swim away when the murderers shouted to Hron to swim back, threatening to kill Christian if he didn't, and Hron decided to swim back to save his friend's life.
The torture continued as two of the attackers continued kicking him in the head for several minutes. After Hron became unconscious, they threw Hron's fractured body in the water again. He sunk to the bottom and drowned. Christian, hitched a ride home and alerted the authorities. The murderers rolled a cigarette as they watched Hron's body sink to the bottom of the lake.
In the court, the 18-year-old boy who was the main person behind the abuse, Daniel Hansson, was sentenced to eight years in prison for murder. He was released on 1 January 2001. Mikael Fjällholm, the 15-year-old, was sentenced to five years closed institutional youth care. The two others, John Billing and one more known only as BM were sentenced to ten and four months in prison for assault and not alerting authorities to the ongoing assault and murder, respectively. The case received nationwide attention within Sweden. In 1996, Hron posthumously received the inaugural Stig Dagerman Prize for free speech and world peace.
Hron's grave has since been desecrated several times. One of the murderers had previously stabbed a man in an earlier crime. Another one of the gang was part of a plot to violently attack a sports event. All of them were active neo-Nazis, some of them involved in the violent organization Vitt Ariskt Motstånd (VAM), which translates to "White Aryan Resistance." Racist flyers and propaganda were found within all of their homes.
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