This article deals with experiences and reactions of German-speaking Jewish refugees who were driven out of their countries by the Nazis and emigrated to Sweden from the 1930s to the early 1940s. It is focusing on some examples of people who not only succeeded in making a new start in Sweden but also achieved extraordinary things once there – accomplishments that were notable and highly respected by the receiving Swedish society. It also describes how the processes of the escape, exile and the perception some of these refugees had of being a stranger also released unexpected resources and potentials within them. One explanation for this phenomenon may lie in the concept “dual integration.” The article concludes with an attempt to explain how the mostly very successful and creative careers of German-speaking Jewish refugees in Sweden were based, on the one hand, on Sweden’s future-oriented progressive mentality at that time, but, on the other hand, also on certain sociocultural elements of collective Jewish life experiences.
Author(s): Lars Dencik,