Censorship in Sweden - During World War II

During World War II

During World War II pressure from Germany caused the Swedish government to recommend Swedish publishers to not publish stories Germany may find biased. Minister of Justice Karl Gustaf Westman revived an old law, long considered obsolete, that made it illegal to publish "offensive writings" about a foreign State. Ture Nerman was sentenced to three months in jail in the winter of 1939 for an anti-Hitler column in his Trots allt! (In spite of it all). Another prominent anti-fascist Israel Holmgren was sentenced to jail by a Swedish court in 1942 for his book Nazisthelvetet (The Nazi Hell). Eventually he was pardoned, and Holmgren decided to publish exactly the same book again, but with a new ironic title, this time called Nazistparadiset (The Nazi Paradise), and he was no longer stopped from publishing it.

Hermann Rauschning's book, The Voice of Destruction, was confiscated two hours after it left the press. These and other cases of suppression showed the need to strengthen the protection of the free press. A committee, with former liberal minister of justice Natanael Gärde as chairman and well-known journalists and authors as the socialist Rolf Edberg, and the liberals Knut Petersson and Axel Brusewitz among the members, wrote a proposal for a revision of the Constitutional Law on the Freedom of Printing. This introduced a far stronger protection of the distribution of news, and it was with a few changes approved by parliament.

Read more about this topic:  Censorship In Sweden

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