This is a Swedish tiger
THIS IS A SWEDISH TIGER” is a strange title for a book about silence, you might think. A Swedish tiger in Swedish is en svensk tiger, which can mean two entirely different things. It can mean simply “a Swedish tiger” – a big cat from Sweden, like a Russian bear or a British bulldog. But it can also mean “a Swede stays silent”. In Swedish this is clever wordplay, but then again, comedy has never been Sweden’s greatest export.
The Swedish Government coined the phrase in November 1941 when the Swedish Vigilance Campaign was launched. The aim was to counteract espionage and prevent the spread of information that could damage Swedish interests. But Sweden was neutral and did not take part in the war – so what were the Swedes supposed to keep silent about? And why do they still stay silent? Do they even know themselves?
The comedian and satirist Aron Flam psychoanalyzes Sweden’s collective sub-consciousness and examines the way the Swedes see themselves beyond the myth-making and idealization. He scrutinizes Sweden’s official historical account and highlights the failure of collectivism, the lies about the country’s goodness and tolerance.
Sweden – a moral superpower, peaceful, equal and environmentally aware. But something is amiss. And the tale of silence and the Swedish Tiger does not end with the country’s exploits during the Second World War. The common thread of silence goes on.
Aron Flam examines Swedish history, and deep within the collective silence, he finds the truth that “The Swedish Tiger” has done everything possible to hide for almost a century.
Antal sidor: 592
Förlag: Samizdat Publishing