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Tryckfrihet i skymningstid. En studie av den svenska tryckfriheten under andra världskriget.

Björverud, Julia LU (2015) LAGM01 20151
Department of Law
Abstract
The freedom of the press has a strong historical tradition in Swedish law, with its roots in the act of 1766. A period that strongly differs from the development in general is the period during World War II. The same year as the war began, in 1939, a more restrictive policy regarding freedom of the press developed. During the following years, numerous controversial and constitutionally dubious legal changes where decided on. This thesis aims to investigate how the Swedish laws regarding freedom of the press developed during the war and which values and interests influenced the legislation during that period. In addition the period is viewed in a historical context in order to identify patterns regarding how the restrictions and extensions... (More)
The freedom of the press has a strong historical tradition in Swedish law, with its roots in the act of 1766. A period that strongly differs from the development in general is the period during World War II. The same year as the war began, in 1939, a more restrictive policy regarding freedom of the press developed. During the following years, numerous controversial and constitutionally dubious legal changes where decided on. This thesis aims to investigate how the Swedish laws regarding freedom of the press developed during the war and which values and interests influenced the legislation during that period. In addition the period is viewed in a historical context in order to identify patterns regarding how the restrictions and extensions concerning freedom of the press have been justified over the centuries.

In an attempt to control the press during the war, several actions where undertaken such as prosecutions and confiscation of printed publications without trial. Furthermore, legislative changes where made. One regulation made it possible to forbid periodicals from being transported with public transportation, another regulation enabled censorship in case of war or a threat of war. In addition to this the parliament also made constitutional amendments with the result that the constitutionally protected freedom of the press was reduced and changed considerably. The thesis presents three factors that can be considered to have contributed to the radical changes that where made. Initially, there was a widespread fear of being drawn into the war, which came to influence the Swedish domestic and foreign policy and may partly explain the restrictive press policy conducted.

In addition to this, there was a fear of offending Germany. For example, the majority of confiscations of printed works focused on Germany and their allies. Also, there is a similarity between the amount of actions taken against the press and Germanys success in the war. When Germany did well in the war, a lot of actions were made. But the moment Germany started to weaken, the actions ceased even though the war was ongoing. This implies that the measures were not taken merely because of the war in general but instead not to offend Germany as long as they were successful.

Finally, the Swedish Minister of Justice during the first years of the war, K G Westman, is considered to have had great influence on the politics regarding the press. For instance he initiated the use of confiscation without trial, a measure that had not been used for over a hundred years and was considered obsolete. Additionally, the Minister of Justice could both prosecute cases concerning freedom of the press and decide on confiscation without trial. Something that further indicates the Ministers impact is the fact that he himself worked actively to force through many of the changes that were made during the first years of the war, and the opinion radically changed after his retirement.

The changes implemented regarding the legislation on freedom of the press were partly unique, since new statutes were instituted. At the same time it can be argued that there has been a historical similarity in the arguments regarding restrictions and extensions of freedom of the press. In light of this, it is argued in this thesis that the legislation concerning freedom of the press has its own unique history. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the Swedish freedom of the press cannot be taken for granted. Similar arguments have reoccurred over the centuries to limit the freedom of the press, and such arguments are also being made today. What we can learn from history is that periods of limitations have always been short and questioned in retrospect, while periods of extended freedom of the press has lasted long and favoured democracy and civic influence. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Den svenska tryckfrihetslagstiftningen har en stark historisk förankring i svensk rätt, med rötter i den första tryckfrihetsförordningen från 1766. En period som starkt skiljer sig från utvecklingen av tryckfriheten överlag är åren kring andra världskriget. Samma år som kriget inleddes, 1939, började en mer restriktiv tryckfrihetspolitik utvecklas och de följande åren genomfördes ett flertal kontroversiella och konstitutionellt tvivelaktiga lagändringar. Uppsatsen syftar till att utreda hur den svenska lagstiftningen såg ut på tryckfrihetens område under krigsåren samt vilka värderingar och intressen som påverkade lagstiftningen under den aktuella perioden. Avsikten är vidare att försöka placera den aktuella perioden i en historisk... (More)
Den svenska tryckfrihetslagstiftningen har en stark historisk förankring i svensk rätt, med rötter i den första tryckfrihetsförordningen från 1766. En period som starkt skiljer sig från utvecklingen av tryckfriheten överlag är åren kring andra världskriget. Samma år som kriget inleddes, 1939, började en mer restriktiv tryckfrihetspolitik utvecklas och de följande åren genomfördes ett flertal kontroversiella och konstitutionellt tvivelaktiga lagändringar. Uppsatsen syftar till att utreda hur den svenska lagstiftningen såg ut på tryckfrihetens område under krigsåren samt vilka värderingar och intressen som påverkade lagstiftningen under den aktuella perioden. Avsikten är vidare att försöka placera den aktuella perioden i en historisk kontext, för att försöka utreda eventuella mönster i hur inskränkningar och utvidgningar av tryckfriheten motiverats genom historien.

De åtgärder som vidtogs under krigsåren var tryckfrihetsåtal, konfiskationer av tryckta skrifter utan rättegång samt lagändringar som innebar transportförbud för vissa tryckta skrifter och möjlighet till censur vid krig eller krigsfara. Utöver detta ändrades grundlagen vilket innebar att den grundlagsskyddade tryckfriheten beskars och förändrades avsevärt. I uppsatsen presenteras tre faktorer som kan anses ha bidragit till att tryckfrihetslagstiftningen förändrades så radikalt under kort tid. Inledningsvis så fanns det en utbredd rädsla för att dras in i kriget, vilket kom att påverka den svenska in- och utrikespolitiken överlag. Denna rädsla fick också stora konsekvenser på tryckfrihetens område, vilket delvis kan förklara den restriktiva tryckfrihetspolitik som bedrevs.

Utöver detta var det en rädsla för Tyskland som påverkade. Detta resulterade i att de beslut som officiellt handlade om att hantera Sveriges förhållande med främmande makter i allmänhet i praktiken nästan enbart användes för att blidka Tyskland. Exempelvis handlade innehållet i majoriteten av de konfiskationer av tryckta skrifter som genomfördes om Tyskland och kritik mot dem och dess allierade. Vidare följer mängden åtgärder av olika slag som vidtogs tydligt samma kurva som Tysklands framgångar i kriget. I samma stund som krigslyckan vände för Tyskland avtog eller upphörde många av de åtgärder som varit vanligt förekommande under krigets första år, även om kriget fortfarande pågick. Detta talat för att åtgärderna inte vidtogs enbart på grund av kriget utan främst för att inte stöta sig med Tyskland.

Slutligen får justitieministern under krigets första år, K G Westman, anses ha haft stor betydelse för tryckfrihetspolitiken. Detta för att han själv väckte liv i bestämmelserna om konfiskation utan rättegång, en åtgärd som inte använts på över hundra år och av de flesta ledande jurister på området ansågs vara obsolet. Dessutom fanns det en stor möjlighet för ministerstyre då justitieministern både kunde väcka åtal i tryckfrihetsmål och besluta om konfiskation utan rättegång. Något som vidare talar för ministerns påverkan är det faktum att han själv arbetade aktivt för att driva igenom många av de förändringar som tillkom under krigets första år, och att åtgärderna upphörde och synen på tryckfrihet radikalt förändrades efter hans avgång.

Förändringarna som genomfördes under krigsåren på tryckfrihetens område var delvis unika, då helt ny lagstiftning tillkom vilket innebar nya former av ingripande. Samtidigt visar uppsatsen att det har funnits en likhet i hur det historiskt sett har argumenterats för både inskränkningar och utvidgningar av tryckfriheten. Mot bakgrund av detta kan det argumenteras för att tryckfrihetsinstitutet har egna historiska mönster vilka förändringarna under krigsåren var en del av. Slutsatsen som kan dras av detta är att den svenska tryckfriheten, hur väl förankrad den än är, inte kan tas för given. Liknande argument har återkommit under århundradena för att inskränka tryckfriheten och sådana framförs även idag. Vad vi kan lära av tryckfrihetsinstitutets egen historia är att perioder av inskränkningar alltid varit korta och ifrågasatts i efterhand, medan perioder av en utsträckt tryckfrihet varat länge och gynnat demokratin och det medborgerliga inflytandet. (Less)
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author
Björverud, Julia LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Freedom of the press in Sweden during World War II.
course
LAGM01 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Rättshistoria, Tryckfrihet, Andra världskriget
language
Swedish
id
5431136
date added to LUP
2015-07-02 16:01:37
date last changed
2015-07-02 16:01:37
@misc{5431136,
  abstract     = {The freedom of the press has a strong historical tradition in Swedish law, with its roots in the act of 1766. A period that strongly differs from the development in general is the period during World War II. The same year as the war began, in 1939, a more restrictive policy regarding freedom of the press developed. During the following years, numerous controversial and constitutionally dubious legal changes where decided on. This thesis aims to investigate how the Swedish laws regarding freedom of the press developed during the war and which values and interests influenced the legislation during that period. In addition the period is viewed in a historical context in order to identify patterns regarding how the restrictions and extensions concerning freedom of the press have been justified over the centuries.

In an attempt to control the press during the war, several actions where undertaken such as prosecutions and confiscation of printed publications without trial. Furthermore, legislative changes where made. One regulation made it possible to forbid periodicals from being transported with public transportation, another regulation enabled censorship in case of war or a threat of war. In addition to this the parliament also made constitutional amendments with the result that the constitutionally protected freedom of the press was reduced and changed considerably. The thesis presents three factors that can be considered to have contributed to the radical changes that where made. Initially, there was a widespread fear of being drawn into the war, which came to influence the Swedish domestic and foreign policy and may partly explain the restrictive press policy conducted.

In addition to this, there was a fear of offending Germany. For example, the majority of confiscations of printed works focused on Germany and their allies. Also, there is a similarity between the amount of actions taken against the press and Germanys success in the war. When Germany did well in the war, a lot of actions were made. But the moment Germany started to weaken, the actions ceased even though the war was ongoing. This implies that the measures were not taken merely because of the war in general but instead not to offend Germany as long as they were successful.

Finally, the Swedish Minister of Justice during the first years of the war, K G Westman, is considered to have had great influence on the politics regarding the press. For instance he initiated the use of confiscation without trial, a measure that had not been used for over a hundred years and was considered obsolete. Additionally, the Minister of Justice could both prosecute cases concerning freedom of the press and decide on confiscation without trial. Something that further indicates the Ministers impact is the fact that he himself worked actively to force through many of the changes that were made during the first years of the war, and the opinion radically changed after his retirement.

The changes implemented regarding the legislation on freedom of the press were partly unique, since new statutes were instituted. At the same time it can be argued that there has been a historical similarity in the arguments regarding restrictions and extensions of freedom of the press. In light of this, it is argued in this thesis that the legislation concerning freedom of the press has its own unique history. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the Swedish freedom of the press cannot be taken for granted. Similar arguments have reoccurred over the centuries to limit the freedom of the press, and such arguments are also being made today. What we can learn from history is that periods of limitations have always been short and questioned in retrospect, while periods of extended freedom of the press has lasted long and favoured democracy and civic influence.},
  author       = {Björverud, Julia},
  keyword      = {Rättshistoria,Tryckfrihet,Andra världskriget},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Tryckfrihet i skymningstid. En studie av den svenska tryckfriheten under andra världskriget.},
  year         = {2015},
}