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How Did Stieg Larsson Die?

Com­ment: In FTR #702, we exam­ined the polit­i­cal career of Tiger Woods’ moth­er-in-law (for­mer Swedish Immi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Bar­bro Holm­berg, accused of shel­ter­ing war crim­i­nals) and Swe­den’s his­tor­i­cal con­nec­tions to fas­cism. In the Decem­ber issue of “Van­i­ty Fair,” Christo­pher Hitchens asks whether some of those con­nec­tions may have man­i­fest­ed them­selves in the death of not­ed Swedish author Stieg Lars­son.

“The Author Who Played with Fire” by Christo­pher Hitchens; Van­i­ty Fair; 12/2009.

I sup­pose it’s jus­ti­fi­able to describe “best-sell­ing” in qua­si-tsuna­mi terms because when it hap­pens it’s part­ly a wall and part­ly a tide: first you see a tow­er­ing, glis­ten­ing ram­part of books in Cost­co and the nation’s air­ports and then you are hit by a series of suc­ceed­ing waves that deposit indi­vid­ual copies in the hands of peo­ple sit­ting right next to you. I was slight­ly won­der­ing what might come crash­ing in after Hur­ri­cane Khaled. I didn’t guess that the next great inun­da­tion would orig­i­nate not in the exot­ic kite-run­ning spaces at the roof of the world but from an epi­cen­ter made almost banal for us by Vol­vo, Abso­lut, Saab, and ikea.

Yet it is from this soci­ety, of reas­sur­ing brand names and womb-to-tomb nation­al health care, that Stieg Lars­son con­jured a detec­tive dou­ble act so incon­gru­ous that it makes Holmes and Wat­son seem like sib­lings. I say “con­jured” because Mr. Lars­son also drew upon the bloody, haunt­ed old Swe­den of trolls and elves and ogres, and I put it in the past tense because, just as the first book in his “Mil­len­ni­um” tril­o­gy, The Girl with the Drag­on Tat­too, was about to make his for­tune, he very sud­den­ly became a dead per­son. In the Lars­son uni­verse the nasty trolls and hulk­ing ogres are bent Swedish cap­i­tal­ists, cold-faced Baltic sex traf­fick­ers, blue-eyed Viking Aryan Nazis, and oth­er Nordic riffraff who might have had their rea­sons to whack him. But if he now dwells in that Val­hal­la of the hack writer who posthu­mous­ly beat all the odds, it’s sure­ly because of his elf. Pic­ture a fer­al waif. All right, pic­ture a four-foot-eleven-inch “doll” with Asperger’s syn­drome and gen­er­ous breast implants. This is not Pip­pi Long­stock­ing (to whom a few ges­tures are made in the nar­ra­tive). This is Miss Goth, inter­mit­tent­ly dis­guised as la gamine.

For­get Miss Smilla’s sense of the snow and check out Lis­beth Salander’s taste in pussy rings, tat­toos, girls, boys, motor­cy­cles, and, above all, com­put­er key­boards. (Once you accept that George Mac­Don­ald Fraser’s Flash­man can pick up any known lan­guage in a few days, you have sus­pend­ed enough dis­be­lief to set­tle down and enjoy his adven­tures.) Miss Salan­der is so well accou­tred with spe­cial fea­tures that she’s almost over-equipped. She is award­ed a pho­to­graph­ic mem­o­ry, a chess mind to rival Bob­by Fischer’s, a math­e­mat­i­cal capac­i­ty that toys with Fermat’s last the­o­rem as a cat bats a mouse, and the abil­i­ty to “hack”—I apol­o­gize for the rep­e­ti­tion of that word—into the deep intesti­nal com­put­ers of all banks and police depart­ments. At the end of The Girl Who Played with Fire, she is for good mea­sure grant­ed the abil­i­ty to return from the grave.

With all these super­heroine advan­tages, one won­ders why she and her on-and-off side­kick, the lum­ber­ing but unstop­pable reporter Mikael Blomkvist, don’t defeat the forces of Swedish Fas­cism and impe­ri­al­ism more effort­less­ly. But the oth­er rea­son that Lis­beth Salan­der is such a source of fas­ci­na­tion is this: the pint-size minx­oid with the drag­on tat­too is also a trau­ma­tized vic­tim and doesn’t work or play well with oth­ers. She has been raped and tor­tured and oth­er­wise abused ever since she could think, and her pri­vate phrase for her com­ing-of-age is “All the Evil”: words that go unelu­ci­dat­ed until near the end of The Girl Who Played with Fire. The actress Noo­mi Rapace has already played Salan­der in a Swedish film of the first nov­el, which enjoyed a world­wide release. (When Hol­ly­wood gets to the cast­ing stage, I sup­pose Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man will be offered the ursine Blomkvist role, and though the col­or­ing is wrong I keep think­ing of Winona Ryder for Lis­beth.) Accord­ing to Larsson’s father, the sym­pa­thy with which “the girl” is evoked is derived part­ly from the author’s own beloved niece, Therese, who is tat­tooed and has suf­fered from anorex­ia and dyslex­ia but can fix your com­put­er prob­lems.

In life, Stieg Lars­son described him­self as, among oth­er things, “a fem­i­nist,” and his char­ac­ter sur­ro­gate, Mikael Blomkvist, takes an osten­ta­tious­ly severe line against the male dom­i­na­tion of soci­ety and indeed of his own pro­fes­sion. (The orig­i­nal grim and Swedish title of The Girl with the Drag­on Tat­too is Men Who Hate Women, while the trilogy’s third book bore the more fairy-tale-like name The Cas­tle in the Air That Blew Up: the clever rebrand­ing of the series with the word “girl” on every cov­er was obvi­ous­ly crit­i­cal.) Blomkvist’s moral right­eous­ness comes in very use­ful for the action of the nov­els, because it allows the depic­tion of a great deal of cru­el­ty to women, smug­gled through cus­toms under the dis­guise of a strong dis­ap­proval. Swe­den used to be noto­ri­ous, in the late 1960s, as the home­land of the film I Am Curi­ous (Yel­low), which went all the way to the Supreme Court when dis­trib­uted in the Unit­ed States and gave Swe­den a world rep­u­ta­tion as a place of smil­ing nudi­ty and guilt-free sex. What a world of nurs­ery inno­cence that was, com­pared with the child slav­ery and exploita­tion that are evoked with per­haps slight­ly too much rel­ish by the cru­sad­ing Blomkvist.

His best excuse for his own pruri­ence is that these ser­i­al killers and tor­ture fanciers are prac­tic­ing a form of cap­i­tal­ism and that their rack­et is pro­tect­ed by a porno­graph­ic alliance with a form of Fas­cism, its low­er ranks made up of hideous bik­ers and meth run­ners. This is not just sex or crime—it’s pol­i­tics! Most of the time, Lars­son hauls him­self along with writ­ing such as this:

The mur­der inves­ti­ga­tion was like a bro­ken mosa­ic in which he could make out some pieces while oth­ers were sim­ply miss­ing. Some­where there was a pat­tern. He could sense it, but he could not fig­ure it out. Too many pieces were miss­ing.

No doubt they were, or there would be no book. (The plot of the first sto­ry is so heav­i­ly con­vo­lut­ed that it requires a page repro­duc­ing the Vanger dynasty’s fam­i­ly tree—the first time I can remem­ber encoun­ter­ing such a drama­tis per­son­ae since I read War and Peace.) But when he comes to the vil­lain of The Girl with the Drag­on Tat­too, a many-ten­ta­cled tycoon named Wen­ner­ström, Larsson’s prose is sud­den­ly much more spir­it­ed. Wen­ner­ström had con­se­crat­ed him­self to “fraud that was so exten­sive it was no longer mere­ly criminal—it was busi­ness.” That’s actu­al­ly one of the best-turned lines in the whole thou­sand pages. If it sounds a bit like Bertolt Brecht on an aver­age day, it’s because Larsson’s own views were old-shoe Com­mu­nist.

His back­ground involved the unique bond­ing that comes from tough Red fam­i­lies and sol­id class loy­al­ties. The hard-labor and fac­to­ry and min­ing sec­tor of Swe­den is in the far and ardu­ous North—this is also the home ter­ri­to­ry of most of the country’s storytellers—and Grand­pa was a pro­le­tar­i­an Com­mu­nist up toward the Arc­tic. This dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, when quite a few Swedes were vol­un­teer­ing to serve Hitler’s New Order and join the SS. In a note the 23-year-old Lars­son wrote before set­ting out for Africa, he bequeathed every­thing to the Com­mu­nist par­ty of his home­town, Umeå. The own­er­ship of the immense lat­er for­tune that he nev­er saw went by law to his father and broth­er, leav­ing his part­ner of 30 years, Eva Gabriels­son, with no legal claim, only a moral one that asserts she alone is fit to man­age Larsson’s very lucra­tive lega­cy. And this is not the only murk that hangs around his death, at the age of 50, in 2004.

To be exact, Stieg Lars­son died on Novem­ber 9, 2004, which I can’t help notic­ing was the anniver­sary of Kristall­nacht. Is it plau­si­ble that Sweden’s most pub­lic anti-Nazi just chanced to expire from nat­ur­al caus­es on such a date? Larsson’s mag­a­zine, Expo, which has a fair­ly clear fic­tion­al cous­in­hood with “Mil­len­ni­um,” was an unceas­ing annoy­ance to the extreme right. He him­self was the pub­lic fig­ure most iden­ti­fied with the unmask­ing of white-suprema­cist and neo-Nazi orga­ni­za­tions, many of them with a hard-earned rep­u­ta­tion for homi­ci­dal vio­lence. The Swedes are not the pacif­ic her­bi­vores that many peo­ple imag­ine: in the foot­notes to his sec­ond nov­el Lars­son reminds us that Prime Min­is­ter Olof Palme was gunned down in the street in 1986 and that the for­eign min­is­ter Anna Lindh was stabbed to death (in a Stock­holm depart­ment store) in 2003. The first crime is still unsolved, and the ver­dict in the sec­ond case has by no means sat­is­fied every­body.

A report in the main­stream news­pa­per Afton­bladet describes the find­ings of anoth­er anti-Nazi researcher, named Bosse Schön, who unrav­eled a plot to mur­der Stieg Lars­son that includ­ed a Swedish SS vet­er­an. Anoth­er scheme mis­fired because on the night in ques­tion, 20 years ago, he saw skin­heads with bats wait­ing out­side his office and left by the rear exit. Web sites are devot­ed to fur­ther spec­u­la­tion: one blog is pre­oc­cu­pied with the the­o­ry that Prime Min­is­ter Palme’s uncaught assas­sin was behind the death of Lars­son too. Larsson’s name and oth­er details were found when the Swedish police searched the apart­ment of a Fas­cist arrest­ed for a polit­i­cal mur­der. Larsson’s address, tele­phone num­ber, and pho­to­graph, along with threats to peo­ple iden­ti­fied as “ene­mies of the white race,” were pub­lished in a neo-Nazi mag­a­zine: the author­i­ties took it seri­ous­ly enough to pros­e­cute the edi­tor.

But Lars­son died of an appar­ent coro­nary throm­bo­sis, not from any may­hem. So he would have had to be poi­soned, say, or some­how med­ical­ly mur­dered. Such a hypoth­e­sis would point to some involve­ment “high up,” and any­one who has read the nov­els will know that in Larsson’s world the forces of law and order in Swe­den are fetid­ly com­plic­it with orga­nized crime. So did he wind up, in effect, a char­ac­ter in one of his own tales? The peo­ple who might have the most inter­est in keep­ing the spec­u­la­tion alive—his pub­lish­ers and publicists—choose not to believe it. “Six­ty cig­a­rettes a day, plus tremen­dous amounts of junk food and cof­fee and an enor­mous work­load,” said Christo­pher MacLe­hose, Larsson’s lit­er­ary dis­cov­er­er in Eng­lish and by a nice coin­ci­dence a pub­lish­er of Flash­man, “would be the cul­prit. I gath­er he’d even had a warn­ing heart mur­mur. Still, I have attend­ed demon­stra­tions by these Swedish right-wing thugs, and they are tru­ly fright­en­ing. I also know some­one with excel­lent con­tacts in the Swedish police and secu­ri­ty world who assures me that every­thing described in the ‘Mil­len­ni­um’ nov­els actu­al­ly took place. And, appar­ent­ly, Lars­son planned to write as many as 10 in all. So you can see how peo­ple could think that he might not have died but been ‘stopped.’”

He left behind him enough man­u­script pages for three books, the last of which—due out in the U.S. next summer—is enti­tled The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and the out­lines and ini­tial scrib­blings of a fourth. The mar­ket and appetite for them seems to be unap­peasable, as does the demand for Hen­ning Mankell’s “Detec­tive Wal­lan­der” thrillers, the work of Peter (Smilla’s Sense of Snow) Høeg, and the sto­ries of Arnal­dur Indri­da­son. These writ­ers come from coun­tries as diverse as Den­mark and Ice­land, but in Ger­many the genre already has a name: Schwe­denkri­mi, or “Swedish crime writ­ing.” Christo­pher MacLe­hose told me that he knows of book­stores that now have spe­cial sec­tions for the Scan­di­na­vian phe­nom­e­non. “When Roger Straus and I first pub­lished Peter Høeg,” he said, “we thought we were doing some­thing of a favor for Dan­ish lit­er­a­ture, and then ‘Miss Smil­la’ abrupt­ly sold a mil­lion copies in both Eng­land and Amer­i­ca. Look, in almost every­one there is a mem­o­ry of the sagas and the Norse myths. A lot of our sto­ry­telling got start­ed in those long, cold, dark nights.”

Per­haps. But Lars­son is very much of our own time, set­ting him­self to con­front ques­tions such as immi­gra­tion, “gen­der,” white-col­lar crime, and, above all, the Inter­net. The plot of his first vol­ume does involve a sort of excur­sion into antiquity—into the book of Leviti­cus, to be exact—but this is only for the pur­pose of encrypt­ing a “Bible code.” And he is quite delib­er­ate­ly unro­man­tic, giv­ing us shop­ping lists, street direc­tions, menus, and oth­er details—often with their Swedish names—in full. The vil­lains are evil, all right, but very stu­pid and self-thwart­ing­ly prone to spend more time (this always irri­tates me) telling their vic­tims what they will do to them than actu­al­ly doing it. There is much sex but absolute­ly no love, a great deal of vio­lence but zero hero­ism. Rec­i­p­ro­cal ges­tures are gen­er­al­ly indi­cat­ed by cliché: if a Lars­son char­ac­ter wants to show assent he or she will “nod”; if he or she wants to man­i­fest dis­tress, then it will usu­al­ly be by bit­ing the low­er lip. The pas­sion­ate world of the sagas and the myths is a very long way away. Bleak­ness is all. That could even be the secret—the emo­tion­less effi­cien­cy of Swedish tech­nol­o­gy, para­dox­i­cal­ly com­bined with the wicked allure of the piti­less elfin avenger, plus a dash of para­noia sur­round­ing the author’s demise. If Lars­son had died as a brave mar­tyr to a cause, it would have been strange­ly out of keep­ing; it’s actu­al­ly more sat­is­fy­ing that he suc­cumbed to the nat­ur­al caus­es that are symp­toms of mod­ern life.


6 comments for “How Did Stieg Larsson Die?”

  1. we dont have to know how stieg lars­son died because every­one dies when they get too close to the truth,in thus case it is a great loss of such a tal­ent and a vic­tim of a cor­rupt gov­ern­ment as are 90per cent of all gov­ern­ments around the world,it most par­tic­u­lary sad because around the world is a com­ing aware­ness or an awak­en­ing which this man will not see.

    Posted by tony lane | August 5, 2011, 8:16 am
  2. I’m afraid this com­ment comes very late, but out of the loop, liv­ing in a 3rd world hell­hole, hard to get books in Eng­lish. Just read the sec­ond of the tril­o­gy and want­ed to men­tion that I found the trans­la­tion absolute­ly excel­lent. So flu­ent, such an easy read, with­out the usu­al dumb­ing down I have noticed in books in trans­la­tion. Bra­vo Mr Reg Kee­land.
    BTW ter­ri­ble loss of a good author.

    Posted by chrissie | February 25, 2012, 1:33 pm
  3. I enjoyed the book the girl with the Drag­on Tatoo, it took me a week to fin­ish. Lots of graph­ic detail but nev­er bor­ing for a minute. I must see the movie. It’s too bad that such a tal­ent­ed writer died so young and sud­den.

    Posted by Avie | August 25, 2012, 9:18 am
  4. Here’s one of those blasts from the some­what recent past:

    Report: Swedish offi­cials pro­filed Roma res­i­dents
    Sept. 27, 2013 | 12:17 PM

    STOCKHOLM, Swe­den, Sept. 27 (UPI) — Offi­cials in at least two Swedish cities kept a “gyp­sy inven­to­ry,” pro­fil­ing Roma by fac­tors includ­ing intel­li­gence and clean­li­ness, a gov­ern­ment report says.

    The report — which is not to be released offi­cial­ly until Jan­u­ary — says Stock­holm offi­cials main­tained the reg­istry as recent­ly as 1996, TheLocal.se said. Police in Skane kept sim­i­lar records, the report said.

    City offi­cials vis­it­ed Roma com­mu­ni­ties and assessed fam­i­lies on their intel­li­gence, school per­for­mance, clean­li­ness and behav­ior, the white paper said.

    “Decent fam­i­ly,” said one assess­ment of a Roma fam­i­ly in Stock­holm. Anoth­er fam­i­ly was described as “poor and back­ward.”

    Erik Ullen­hag, Swe­den’s inte­gra­tion min­is­ter, said he was “ashamed” about the find­ings, said they reflect­ed a time of racial pro­fil­ing in the coun­try.

    “It is incred­i­bly stig­ma­tiz­ing that peo­ple were get­ting home vis­its just because they have a cer­tain eth­nic­i­ty,” he said.

    Yikes, an eth­nic-based “gyp­sy inven­to­ry” was being kept as late as recent­ly as 1996? Good thing that’s no longer hap­pen­ing:

    The Local Swe­den edi­tion
    ‘Roma lists not race relat­ed’: Swedish police

    Pub­lished: 23 Oct 2013 17:25 CET

    Police in south­ern Swe­den have defend­ed their use of a Roma reg­istry, claim­ing on Wednes­day that it was assem­bled to “fight a crim­i­nal net­work” rather than to keep tabs on peo­ple of a spe­cif­ic eth­nic­i­ty, which would be ille­gal.

    Police in south­ern Swe­den defend­ed their use of Roma reg­istries, claim­ing on Wednes­day that they were put togeth­er to “fight a crim­i­nal net­work” rather than to keep tabs on peo­ple of a spe­cif­ic eth­nic­i­ty.

    Eth­nic­i­ty-based reg­is­tra­tion is against the law in Swe­den.

    The inte­gra­tion min­is­ter met with sev­er­al rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Swedish Roma after the exis­tence of the reg­istries was unearthed. Last week, he com­ment­ed the unfold­ing sto­ry at a con­fer­ence on inte­gra­tion.

    “Swe­den forced abor­tions on and ster­il­ized Roma until the 1970s, some of that (think­ing) lives on,” Erik Ullen­haag told the audi­ence at the con­fer­ence orga­nized by RIA (Rådet för inte­gra­tion i arbet­slivet).

    The exis­tence of the first reg­istry was revealed late last month by the Dagens Nyheter news­pa­per (DN) and police ini­tial­ly denied its exis­tence. They lat­er back­tracked, admit­ted that sev­er­al such lists had been cre­at­ed and that around 100 offi­cers had access to them, and that around 4,700 peo­ple main­ly of Roma ori­gin had been includ­ed.

    The reg­istries were built up in 2011 and 2012 as part of efforts to com­bat crime in Skåne, south­ern Swe­den, stem­ming from a fam­i­ly dis­pute, the police said. On Wednes­day, police main­tained that there was no eth­nic dis­crim­i­na­tion in the use of the list, rather that it was used as a means to keep track of a grow­ing net­work.

    “This map­ping reg­is­ter is all about fight­ing a crim­i­nal net­work. It is not about eth­nic­i­ty,” police spokes­woman Mon­i­ca Nebe­lius told the paper.

    The police and the reg­istry are cur­rent­ly under inves­ti­ga­tion by the Swedish Com­mis­sion on Secu­ri­ty and Integri­ty Pro­tec­tion (Säk­er­hets- och integritetssky­ddsnäm­n­den — SIN), which has looked into a ran­dom selec­tion of 1,235 of the total of 3,413 peo­ple on the list who are not chil­dren and who are still alive.

    Around half of those list­ed have crim­i­nal records, or are on police lists as sus­pects in crimes. The crimes com­mit­ted, how­ev­er, are often on a much small­er scale than orga­nized crime in south­ern Swe­den. One, accord­ing to DN, was as pet­ty as steal­ing hair­spray from an H&M in cen­tral Swe­den, result­ing in the thief, his wife, and their child appear­ing on a reg­is­ter.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 23, 2013, 11:07 am
  5. Some­thing to watch in the evolv­ing EU and the ongo­ing ten­sions between the Roma and local author­i­ties/com­mu­ni­ties: plain-clothes polices offi­cers from Bul­gar­ia are now patrolling a city in Ger­many to police the Bul­gar­i­an Roma:

    Deutsche Welle
    Bul­gar­i­an police patrol Ger­man streets

    For years eco­nom­ic refugees from Bul­gar­ia caused prob­lems for Dort­mund’s police. Now Bul­gar­i­an police helps Dort­mund to solve the prob­lems.

    Date 30.10.2013
    Author Bilyana Mihaylo­va / re
    Edi­tor Adri­an Duke

    “I rec­og­nized some faces,” said Atanas Georgiev from Plov­di­v’s police direc­torate. For two weeks he and Dim­i­tar Dim­itrov, his col­league from Sofia, have been vis­it­ing Dort­mund. For 15 years the super­in­ten­dent has been work­ing on pet­ty crime in Bul­gar­ia, most­ly in the streets of Stolipino­vo, the Roma quar­ter of Plov­div. In Dort­mund he finds many sim­i­lar­i­ties to his work in Plov­div. “There are dif­fer­ences in the sur­round­ings but the sit­u­a­tion is near­ly the same as in Plov­di­v’s Roma quar­ters,” said Georgiev.

    For the sec­ond time Bul­gar­i­an police offi­cers are in Dort­mund. They came for the first time in May 2011, when there were huge prob­lems with street pros­ti­tu­tion. The city was forced to close it down. It had been main­ly Bul­gar­i­an pros­ti­tutes who worked the streets. There­fore the city asked the Bul­gar­i­an police for sup­port. This time the fight is against bur­glary, pick­pock­et­ing and met­al theft are in the focus.

    Since Bul­gar­ia joined the Euro­pean Union in 2007 more and more peo­ple from Bul­gar­ia come to Dort­mund. They are most­ly eco­nom­ic refugees from Plov­div and its Roma quar­ter, Stolipino­vo. Hence Dort­mund’s police falls back on the sup­port from the Bul­gar­i­an police. They know the lan­guage, the men­tal­i­ty and the struc­tures of the Bul­gar­i­an crime milieu.

    Prepa­ra­tion for the free labor mar­ket

    The Bul­gar­i­ans patrol the streets with their col­leagues from Dort­mund – in plain clothes and unarmed. They do not need weapons, their knowl­edge of peo­ple and crim­i­nal struc­tures is impor­tant and could be very use­ful for Dort­mund’s police. At least that is what Detlef Rath, super­in­ten­dant of the police sta­tion Nord, hopes. Around 1700 Bul­gar­i­ans are offi­cial­ly reg­is­tered in Dort­mund of which 300 to 350 are sus­pect­ed to have ties to crim­i­nal groups.

    Most of the Bul­gar­i­ans live in the north­ern part of Dort­mund. And in this area are the biggest prob­lems, says Dort­mund’s police chief Nor­bert Wes­sel­er. He expects that the coop­er­a­tion with the Bul­gar­i­an police eas­es the prepa­ra­tion for the com­ing year. From Jan­u­ary 1 on Bul­gar­i­ans have free access to the labor mar­ket in EU mem­ber states. “We do not know how many more Bul­gar­i­ans will come here. But we want to be pre­pared.”

    Are crime rates on the increase?

    The idea for the coop­er­a­tion came from the Bul­gar­i­an police. The author­i­ties did not want to face the accu­sa­tion that they are impas­sive about the prob­lems caused by Bul­gar­i­an eco­nom­ic refugees in Ger­many. Social work­ers – so called inte­gra­tion guides – will fol­low the police offi­cers. Most of the Bul­gar­i­an immi­grants do not speak Ger­man and there­fore are not able to han­dle for­mal­i­ties.

    This is one of the rea­sons why peo­ple become vic­tims of the orga­nized crime, says Mari­ta Het­meier, for­mer mem­ber of the city coun­cil. “On the one hand there is an offi­cial way to get to Ger­many – you can take the bus from Plov­div to Dort­mund or you can trav­el by plane. On the oth­er hand there are many unof­fi­cial ways. That means that some­one from Dort­mund organ­is­es a mini van, dri­ves there, picks up the pas­sen­gers and brings them to Dort­mund. Here he places them in sev­er­al apart­ments and tells them where to go and what to do. And all that costs mon­ey. The peo­ple who come here have to pay every sin­gle step.” Often the refugees can­not find work and there­fore can­not pay the ser­vice. Nev­er­the­less the orga­niz­ers of these tours come and ask for the mon­ey, accord­ing to Het­meier.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 30, 2013, 1:23 pm
  6. Lis­beth Salander’s Real Life Twin May Be Iceland’s Next Prime Min­is­ter

    Posted by Jim | March 6, 2016, 4:56 pm

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