Malmö is now favourite in the bidding to host Sweden’s new national Holocaust museum, with the head of Stockholm’s Jewish Museum giving the southern city her blessing.
“Malmö would be an excellent choice,” Christina Gamstorp, director of Stockholm’s Jewish Museum. “It is a superb idea to use Malmö, as the actual place where most concentration camp survivors first arrived.”
In the spring of 1945 the Swedish Red Cross and the Danish government collaborated in the White Buses Operation, rescuing 15,345 people from concentration camps in Nazi Germany. It remains unclear exactly how many of those rescued were Jewish.
Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh said that the decision to host a major international Holocaust conference in Malmö showed that the national government recognised the city’s important role.
“This decision shows that the government is aware of Malmö’s history and that it knows that we here in Malmö are working determinedly to counter antisemitism,” she told Sydsvenskan.
The new museum is part of Sweden’s preparations for next year’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the freeing of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Nazi Germany’s concentration camps.
Ann Katina, chair of the Jewish congregation in Malmö, said that she believed Malmö was the most appropriate home for the museum.
“Many of our members are the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors,” she said. “Malmö is a natural place for a Holocaust Museum considering that the city today has a big problem with antisemitism.”