STOCKHOLM – A Sweden Democrats official was suspended by the far-right party for making degrading comments about Jewish teenage diarist Anne Frank.
In an Instagram posting that has now been deleted, Rebecka Fallenkvist called Anne “immoral” among other things, according to Swedish media.
Anne, who wrote a diary while in hiding in Amsterdam before she was captured, died at age 15 in Nazi Germany's Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in February 1945.
The posting by Fallenkvist, a 26-year-old head of television programming for the Sweden Democrats, prompted strong reactions from Jewish groups and Israeli Ambassador Ziv Nevo Kulman, who in a tweet said: “I strongly condemn this despicable insult, disrespectful of the memory of Anne Frank.” His posting included what appeared to be a screenshot of Fallenkvist’s Instagram post.
The Sweden Democrats’ media director, Oskar Cavalli-Bjorkman, told the Swedish news agency TT late Saturday that the party would take Fallenkvist’s “insensitive and inappropriate” comments seriously and launch an internal investigation on the matter.
While it remained unclear what kind of point Fallenkvist wanted to make with her comments on Anne's diary, she sent later a text message to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter saying she had been misinterpreted.
“The book is a moving depiction of human good and evil," Fallenkvist said in her message to the newspaper. “The good Anne, who in the first chapters is like any other young girl living her life in peace and finding an interest in boys (which I highlighted), is contrasted with the evil of Nazism. My story was aimed at the good and human in Anne while not playing down the evil to which she was subjected.”
Sweden Democrats was founded in the 1980s by people who had been active in right-wing extremist groups, including neo-Nazis. The party emerged as Sweden’s second-largest party in the Sept. 11 election under the leadership of Jimmie Akesson.
On Friday, three Swedish center-right parties agreed to form a coalition government with the support of the Sweden Democrats that has moved toward mainstream politics, but retains a hard line on immigration.