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Cold War

Sweden’s Cold War Stance Challenged

Sweden’s role in the Cold War has previously been seen as passive in keeping with its neutral stance. But a new book on Sweden’s relationship with the United States during the 1960’s has challenged this view.

The Cold War saw the USA and the NATO countries locked in grim conflict with the USSR and the Warsaw Pact.

The Berlin Wall represented a divided Europe. Communist and capitalist countries faced each other on a border that ran north-south from Italy to Denmark.

And in the north of Europe - Sweden stood alone, declared by its ruling social democrats to be neutral and independent. While the arms race and nuclear stand off went on in the rest of Europe and across most of the world, sweden was eager to criticise both the western and the eastern blocs for human rights abuses and warmongering.

Or so the story goes.

This picture is now starting to change, under the influence of historical research.

Jerker Widén is a researcher at Sweden’s national defence college, and has just published a book on US-Swedish relations during the 1960s

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