Neutral Sweden allowed Nazis to use their railways to occupy Norway… and transfer Jews to death camps, new book claims
- Use of Swedish SJ rail system helped Germany win battle of Narvik
- Troops and war materials transferred through country, while iron ore and Jews for death camps were taken out
Relations between Norway and Sweden are being strained with the publication of a new book, which details how Stockholm aided the Nazis during WW2 as their neighbours fought and lost a decisive battle against the German invaders.
Sweden stayed neutral in the war but Norway was among the first conquests of Hitler.
Now a new book shows how Sweden let the Germans use its efficient rail network to transport men and materials to the battle of Narvik, where British troops were deployed in a bid to stave off the Nazi hordes.
Narvik-based journalist Espen Eidum spent three years sifting through Norwegian, Swedish and German archives to discover how the Nazis had managed to get troops and supplies to the front lines in Narvik in 1940, enabling them to turn a losing battle into a decisive victory that led to the conquest and brutal occupation of the whole country.
Sweden, although neutral, had in fact gone out of its way to aid the Germans, who would rely on the country for much of its iron ore during the war.
After the publication of his book Blodsporet – The Blood Track – Mr Eidum said: ‘The Germans used the Swedish rail network on a large scale during the fighting. The operation was much more extensive than historians have previously realised.’
The book details how, in October 1940 – four months after Narvik had turned into a crushing defeat for both the Norwegians and Winston Churchill, who had sent British forces there – Swedish diplomats in London lied to Norwegian government-in-exile representatives that it had not allowed any Nazi soldiers or weaponry to use its railway network to get to the front.
Mr Eidum said: ‘The German foreign ministry had earlier summoned the Swedish ambassador in Berlin to inform him that Adolf Hitler had personally requested for the Nazis to be permitted to send three trains with 30 to 40 sealed carriages through Sweden to the far north of Norway.
‘Hitler’s representatives told the Swedes that the Germans had a number of wounded soldiers at the front and urgently needed to send in medical
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