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Scandinavia Today / Sweden



More exposure of Swedish slavery and slave trade in a new research

Monday, 07 October 2013
New historical facts have emerged to show that Sweden was also as cruel as other European and Arab slave trade dealer countries in their treatment of the black slaves they bought from Africa.
Historians have for the first time gone through documents, which describe the Swedish legal system in Sweden's former slave colony in the Caribbean. And it turns out that Sweden was not better than other oppressive colonial powers during the periods of the 1700-1800s in the way they handled their human goods.

First of all many people do not know that Sweden engaged in slavery and slave trade some 200 years ago. This is certainly not something that is part of the Swedish history syllabus despite the fact that Sweden was a slave nation for over 60 years and involved in the transatlantic slave trade in the 1700 to 1800s.
Swedish slavery historyImage from Swedish television
There are only two doctoral dissertations on the Swedish slavery activities  and its colony of Saint Barthélemy, which operated the slave system. One of the was in 1888 and the other was in 1951. Besides those one will hear absolutely nothing associating Sweden with slavery.
Fredrik Thomasson, PhD and academic researcher at the Department of History, Uppsala University, is the first scientist to have gone through the court records that were continuously recorded on the island, reports Swedish television.

At present, Fredrik Thomasson has amassed 1000s of court records relating to slaves or free coloured people - known then as the free blacks as they were called on the Swedish colonial island.

People may think that Sweden has been a slick and clean country with no blood of the black people in their system. This research could start making Swedish people to look at themselves once more and determine that as racism is still rife in this country, the white Swedish people have always been master just as the British French, Germans and the Arabs and the blacks just as seen today, have always been their slaves.

According to Fredrik Thomasson, Sweden operated just as the other colonial powers in the Caribbean and it was neither better nor worse in its treatment of the dark skinned people. In Saint Barthélemy slaves went through the worst horror examples of barbaric treatment. But unlike other countries, Sweden in a big way, has not been noticed of its activities as a slave nation.

According to Fredrik Thomasson, the image Sweden has to date on the activities on its the former colony and it history on human rights has been far from complete. He thinks that Sweden often tends to have a rather self-righteous self-image. Sweden has been seen internationally as a very conscious country, and thus tend to forget what has happened in its history. That is probably a reason why no one has studied Swedish slave history.
by Team

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