No violence at Sweden-Israel handball game

Some 150 pro-Palestinian protesters and some 60 pro-Israel protestors demonstrated peacefully on the sidelines of a Sweden-Israel handball match in southeastern Sweden Sunday, police said.

No violence at Sweden-Israel handball game

Police spokesman Mats Trulsson in the city of Karlskrona said one pro-Palestinian demonstrator had been taken into custody before the match but was set to be released shortly.

Other than that, “our evaluation is that the demonstrations went exactly according to the plans that led to their authorisation,” he told AFP.

Police and Swedish intelligence had been preparing for Sunday’s game, a qualifier for the European handball championship, after protesters clashed with police in March 2009 on the sidelines of an Israel-Sweden Davis Cup tennis tie in the southern city of Malmö.

Malmö, which is home to a large Muslim community, had ordered that the controversial match be played behind closed doors for fear of violence in the arena.

The protestors failed to distract Sweden’s handball team, which dispatched Israel 28-17.

Following the match, Sweden’s Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz – who netted nine goals during the game – remained cautious about commenting on the protests.

“No, it’s nothing that we…eh, I’m not going to comment on that,” he told the TT news agency.

As Sweden had already secured a place in the next round of the 2012 European Men’s Handball Championships, the match against Israel was of little importance beyond possibly improving Sweden’s placement in seeding for the tournament, which will be played in Serbia in January 2012.

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Outrage in Germany after remains of neo-Nazi buried in empty Jewish grave

The burial of a known neo-Nazi's ashes in the former grave of a Jewish musical scholar has sparked outrage in Germany, and prompted Berlin's anti-Semitism official to file a criminal complaint.

Jewish scholar Max Friedlaender's grave stone in Stahnsdorf, just outside Berlin, on October 12th.
Jewish scholar Max Friedlaender's grave stone in Stahnsdorf, just outside Berlin, on October 12th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Jens Kalaene

The remains of the neo-Nazi were buried at the grave of Max Friedlaender in Stahnsdorf, just outside Berlin, with several figures from the extreme-right scene in attendance at the funeral on Friday.

Samuel Salzborn, anti-Semitism official for Berlin, said late Tuesday that he had filed a criminal complaint because “the intention here is obvious – the right-wing extremists deliberately chose a Jewish grave to disturb the peace of the dead by burying a Holocaust denier there”.

He added that “it must now be quickly examined how quickly the Holocaust denier can be reburied in order to no longer disturb the dignified memory of Max Friedlaender”.

Friedlaender died in 1934 – when Adolf Hitler was already in power – and was buried in the graveyard as his religion was given as ‘Protestant’ in the burial registration slip

His grave was cleared upon expiration in 1980 and opened up for new burials, under common practice for plots after a certain amount of time has passed.

Friedlaender’s gravestone however remains standing as the entire cemetery is protected under monument conservative rules.


The Protestant Church managing the graveyard voiced dismay at the incident.

In a statement, it said it had accepted the request for burial at the empty grave because “everyone has a right for a final resting place”.

“Nevertheless, the choice of the former grave of Max Friedlaender is a mistake. We are looking into this mistake now,” the church said in a statement.

At the funeral, a black cloth was laid over Friedlaender’s tombstone while wreathes and ribbons bearing the Nazi-era iron cross symbol were laid on the grave for the neo-Nazi Henry Hafenmayer.

Prominent Holocaust denier Horst Mahler, who has been convicted for incitement, was among dozens at the funeral.

Police deployed at the funeral were able to arrest a fugitive from the far-right scene there, German media reported.

Several war graves stand at the cemetery at Stahnsdorf, and these sites are known in far-right circles, the Protestant church administrating the graveyard admitted.

It added that it has worked closely with police to hinder several neo-Nazi marches there in recent years.

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