The Swedish Press and Kristallnacht

Yad Vashem Studies, Volume 36:2

Göran Leth

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The Construction of Indifference: The Swedish Press and Kristallnacht

To understand how international opinion reacted to the Jewish tragedy it is not enough to know what information the media held. We also need to know how this information was represented. Early Swedish policy regarding European Jewry has been described as “indifference”, and with the objective of shedding light on the interplay between public opinion and politics the article examines the press coverage of the Kristallnacht pogrom. The research suggests three types of coverage: “protest”, “indifference”, and “compliance”. The press coverage shows many contradictions, but also a fundamental conformity. The “indifference” group represented most Swedish newspapers. Its news and opinions denied Jewish victims their individuality, censored the extension and consequences of the abuses, normalized the outrages and accepted antisemitic vocabulary and news. Since the “compliance” newspapers went even further in their adoption of a Nazi German outlook, and the “protest” papers were a divided minority, the general thrust was one of indifference.

Products specifications
ISSN 0084-3296
Year 2008
Catalog No. 236205
No. of Pages 33 pp.
Format Electronic article in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume 36:2, pp. 155-187, Edited by David Silberklang
Publisher Yad Vashem