How neutral was Sweden in WWII?
I’ve read that they helped transport Nazi troops into Norway when it was being invaded.
Whereas before they did this, the British and French governments wanted to send an expeditionary force through Sweden to help Finland against the Soviets in the Winter War, and they refused. Their iron trade was also vital to Hitlers war effort, and the King tried to convince the British to surrender in 1940.
The only way I see that they were neutral is that they weren’t occupied, because they clearly took a side based on their actions. So my question is weren’t they technically Nazi supporters and how far did they agree with what Germany was doing?
Germany clearly violated a Neutral country and it was with Sweden’s help that can not be refuted. I point that out and not their operation against Russia for a reason.
- Anonymous1 month agoFavorite Answer
During WWI Sweden was neutral with a nod toward Germany. By WWII this had changed for most of the population who were very anti-nazi, though there were small elite pockets of support but they were not the ones in control. To understand Sweden you need to look at where the country is located on a map and to understand that they expected to be conquored at some point. From the Swedish point of view Germany was better than Russia owing to historical reasons going back to the middle ages. This does not mean that they wanted to be conquored.
The Swedish people took in many dissidents, and many Jewish intelligensia passed through Sweden on their way to assylum elsewhere, others remained for the duration of the war and some became integral to the post war cultural blossoming. Joseph Frank never forgave his native Austria for going Nazi and although he stayed in New York during the war after having passed through Sweden he returned to Sweden to settle there. Today he's synonymous in Sweden with modern design and few people know that he was once a respected Viennese architect. I don't think that would have happened if he thought the country was riddled with Nazis. Nearly 70 000 Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden. There was criticism later that many lost their language during the years there away but frankly it saved their lives and their health. Many of the surviving children in Finland went blind due to the lack of vitamin D during food shortages and the long dark winters. Thousands of Swedes volunteered to fight in Finland as private citizens and the Swedish government did nothing to hinder their able-bodied men from joining the fight. If the government wanted to suck up to the Nazis they would not have allowed any of this.
- Larry CLv 71 month ago
Theu were gutless wonders who sold steel and munitions to Germany since the nation had lost its faith and one time leadership of church forces
- skeptikLv 71 month ago
Sweden was one of nine European countries that were able to maintain their official neutrality throughout the war. Which means they didn't favor either side officially.
It does NOT mean they were strong enough to keep both sides out of their territory completely. It also doesn't mean they didn't engage in trade with either side.
The reason they refused access to the Allied expeditionary force to Finland was because they (rightly) saw that it would result in occupation of Swedish territory, and bring the war directly onto their soil.
Which is kind of what they wanted to avoid by remaining neutral in the first place.
Incidentally, your statement about them "taking sides" is partly refuted by their actions later in the war. At the urging of the Allies, they stopped their trade with Germany, and they had already been serving as a source of intelligence for the Allies.