Jews in the Swedish city of Gothenburg expressed relief on Monday after a neo-Nazi march on Yom Kippur bypassed the city’s main synagogue and the community received hundreds of messages of support from groups and individuals.
On Saturday, 30 members of the far-right nationalist Nordic Resistance Movement, or NRM, were arrested when they clashed with counterprotesters.
Jews had worried about harassment and vandalism during the march, which was rerouted after appeals by the Jewish community that it not pass the synagogue on Judaism’s holiest day. Police presence around the synagogue was heavy, with cars patrolling the area as well as a helicopter and a boat in a nearby canal.
Despite this, Yom Kippur services went on as usual and had a large turnout, community chairman Allan Stutzinsky told JTA.
Jews in Gothenburg had worried that the synagogue would be vandalized with swastikas over the weekend, Stutzinsky said. Instead they woke up on Sunday to find that people had drawn hearts with chalk around the building in support.
Amid wide media coverage of the march, the community received hundreds of messages of support.
“The threats exist, but they don’t dominate society… We have received a lot of support,” he told JTA.
Josefin Dolsten is a former news fellow at the Forward, writing about politics and culture, and editing the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.
Swedish Jews Bask In Support After Neo-Nazi March On Yom Kippur