'Neo-Nazi' Threats and Vandalism Prompt Jewish Center in Sweden to Close

'Our children shouldn't need to live in a world where they have to be ashamed for what they are,' Jewish community leader says, as politicians vow to reopen center.

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A series of threats and vandalism attributed to neo-Nazis has forced the Jewish Association in the northern Swedish city of Umea to close their community center, but local politicians hoped on Tuesday the decision could be reversed.

The community reportedly received threatening emails and its buildings were targeted with swastikas and daubed with messages like "we know where you live," the BBC reported.

Members of the Jewish Association, who number about 100, decided at the weekend to dissolve the association and cancel the lease on the building used for activities, spokeswoman Carinne Sjoberg told Swedish media.

"Too many things have happened lately which mean that Jewish parents don't feel safe having their kids at the schools. Our children shouldn't need to live in a world where they have to be ashamed for what they are, but it's not possible to operate if people are scared," she told broadcaster SVT News according to the BBC.

Svante Weyler, head of the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism, said it was necessary for authorities and local residents "to restore Umea's reputation and protect the city's Jews."

Sjoberg blamed the Neo-Nazi group Nordfront, the BBC reported.

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Umea was in the headlines some two years ago when local organizers of a march marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht, failed to invite its Jewish community.

Margareta Ronngren, a Social Democratic city council member from Umea, condemned that threats and told Swedish Radio she would meet with association representatives this week to discuss the situation.

The university city has a population of about 120,000 people and was one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2014.

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