Stockholm Syndrome

So Easter is finished and it’s time to forget about fluffy bunnies and colorful eggs. Therefore today’s post is going to be literally about Stockholm Syndrome. Actually it is very good time for such a thing because our neighbors in Norway have something called Paaskerkrim (Easter Crime). It’s time for all truly Norwegians to sit with a crime novel and enjoy those dark stories. This time of year often new crime novels have their premiere, and newspapers have special crime-story supplements. Don’t ask me why… But I’ve heard that Sweden is adopting that trend – however I haven’t seen any bookstore display full of covers with blood, guns and dark Scandinavian landscapes yet. Maybe I need to look for it better… 🙂

Crime Map of Stockholm. $$ - Norrmalmstorg robbery. Gun - coming soon!
Crime Map of Stockholm. $$ – Norrmalmstorg robbery. Gun – coming soon!

So going back to main topic: Stockholm Syndrome. Probably a lot of you have heard this term before. It is kind of psychological condition when victim of some crime develops sympathy towards bad guy(s). I don’t want to go into psychological details but I would like to tell you that this term actually took its name from something that happened in Stockholm in 1973.

It was regular Thursday on August 23rd 1973 when Jan Olsson stepped into Kreditbanken on Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm (see $$ symbol on map). Olsson apparently missed his past prison life because he decided to rob that bank. Probably he was inspired by his prison mate Clark Olofsson who had in his resume some bank robberies before. Olsson took four people as hostages and demanded 3 million Swedish Kronor, two guns, helmets, bulletproof vests and some fast car (for sure some Swedish Volvo). He also wanted to have his friend with him – Clark Olofsson –  who eventually joined the “part”. Olsson even called Prime Minister – Olof Palme and he threatened to kill all the hostages. During that conversation one hostage – Kristin Enmark defended Olsson saying that he only was defending himself from police who actually started the shooting. In another phone call she said that actually she’s afraid of police not of kidnappers! Hostages were sympathizing with their captors even at the very and when they refused to come out first to have security provided by police.

Oppression finished five days later on 28th of August, when police used gas and both kidnappers surrendered. But even after that victims kept defending Olsson.

Normalmstorg Robbery Crime Scene. Source: Wikipedia.
Normalmstorg Robbery Crime Scene. Source: Wikipedia.

It is well known that Swedes are polite and kind people, but this extreme example of kindness toward captors was way above all standards and now it is known as Stockholm Syndrome.

If you go there now, you will see in former Kreditbanken building some clothing store. You can step in, close your eyes and imagine this cold afternoon from 1973. Then you can open your eyes and.. 500 SEK for a t-shirt?! That’s a real daylight robbery!

P.S. I have marked another crime related place on the map, but you have to wait for a next post 😉



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