'It would have been a fight': Former Swedish PM enrages Denmark and Norway with WW2 tweet

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10 Apr, 2021 Updated Sat 10 Apr 2021 17:07 CEST
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Sweden's former prime minister has enraged the country's neighbours by suggesting in a tweet that if Sweden had been invaded by Nazi Germany, it would have put up more of a fight than Denmark and Norway did.

In a tweet to mark the 81st anniversary of the invasion of Denmark and Norway, Carl Bildt, who served as prime minister between 1991 and 1994, claimed that Germany's fascist leader Adolf Hitler would have struggled to overrun Sweden.

"The defense forces of Sweden in 1940 weren’t stellar, but still stronger than Norway and in particular than Denmark. Had Hitler decided to invade Sweden, it would have been a fight," he tweeted.

Bildt was immediately put in his place by the former Norwegian footballer Jan Aage Fjortoft, who pointed out that Sweden had not only remained neutral, but had actually allowed Nazi Germany to transport troops and weaponry through its territory to Norway.

"The former Prime Minister of Sweden with this week’s most stupid tweet," he wrote. "Sweden let German soldiers travel through their country to fight in North Norway in 1940."

Sylvi Listhaug, deputy leader of Norway's Progress Party, made much the same point, telling Norway's VG newspaper that the comment was misjudged.

"It's extremely rash of a former Swedish prime minister to come out with this kind of comment when we all know the role Sweden played in the war while both Denmark and Norway were invaded by the Germans," she said.

"While we were under pressure, Sweden allowed the Germans to transport both weapons and soldiers through their country during the war."

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2021/04/10 17:07

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