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Second World War and Holocaust Commemoration in Sweden


  • Anne Rothe

Summary, in English

This thesis discusses commemoration processes of the Second World War and the Holocaust in Sweden. The timeframe for this analysis is set from 1995 on when Sweden joined the European Union and general interest in Holocaust research increased in all EU member states in the 1990s. The thesis focuses on memorials and exhibitions in Stockholm dealing with the topic. Through interviews and visual analysis of these heritage sites a commemorational character is identified. Furthermore, the concepts of ‘Europeanization’ and ‘Memory Studies’ are used to provide a conceptual and theoretical background for analysing the Swedish way of commemorating the Holocaust in the context of European integration.

The discussion shows that Sweden perceived itself as an innocent bystander to the war and the Holocaust for a long time and that research on these topics has not been carried out until recently. This changed with Sweden’s membership in the European Union and the country developed from a bystander to a European leader in Holocaust education. Analysing commemoration processes the way they are presented in this thesis has not been done before and therefore the thesis fills a research gap.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Cultural Sciences


  • Sweden
  • Holocaust
  • Second World War
  • Commemoration
  • Europeanization
  • Memory Studies
  • Cultural Memory
  • Interviews
  • Visual Analysis


  • Barbara Törnquist-Plewa