En broder, gäst och parasit : Uppfattningar och föreställningar om utlänningar, flyktingar och flyktingpolitik i svensk offentlig debatt 1942-1947
Sammanfattning: Earlier studies have proposed that Swedish refugee policy started to change around 1942, when a restrictive refugee policy became more generous and humanitarian. From a quantitative point of view this statement is true: there were about ten thousand refugees in 1941, compared to almost two hundred thousand by the end of the war. However, this does not tell us whether the well-known discourses of Swedish inter-war anti-Semitism, nationalism and xenophobia underwent the same changes. The aim of this dissertation is to analyse the public debate concerning foreigners, refugees and refugee policy in 1942–1947.The dissertation puts forward the hypothesis of The Nordic prerogative. In brief, this prerogative meant that Sweden primarily held itself obliged to accept ethnical Northeners as refugees, and looked upon this obligation as more important than other considerations, such as the refugee’s ideological views, need of protection or humanitarian needs. Symptomatically, the groups which could not be entirely encompassed within the idea of a Nordic prerogative, particularly the Balts and the Danish Jews, were perceived as the most problematical refugee groups, both on a general level of the debates, and in specific issues.The idea of a Nordic prerogative did not derive from a sense of ethnical fraternity and humanitarian considerations alone, however. Several undertakings were also brought about by pragmatic considerations. Sweden sought goodwill, and reception of refugees was seen as one way of winning it.The dissertation also shows that the idea of a Nordic prerogative seems to become less important when the refugee comes closer to the everyday life of Sweden, where the Nordic refugees too were referred to as ”foreigners”, ”aliens” etc. As such, they had to put up with being spoken of in negatively loaded expressions, in the same way as other foreigners.
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