Sweden has the dubious honour of being second only to Third Reich Germany in the number of people sterilised against their will. It is one of those “skeletons in the closet” things, in that the Swedish establishment avoided talking about it for a number of years, preferring to bury this rather sordid aspect of our past by silence.
Swedish healthy youth – photo Herman Widlund
However, to understand the reasons behind the Swedish legislation that called for sterilisation of those “weak of mind and morals”, we must actually dig into yet another unappetising aspect of the past, namely that of lobotomising – and sadly I must admit that here too, Sweden, together with its Nordic neighbours, leads the pack, performing 2.5 times as many lobotomies per capita as did, f.ex., the US.
It all began in the 19th century. After centuries of locking up the insane among us and forgetting…
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