FINANCING PRO SOVIET COLD WAR COMMUNISM IN SWEDEN – NO 3 IN A SERIES

During the Cold War the pro Soviet Swedish Communist Party (SKP, VPK, V) during a period over many decades built a business empire to cover support from the Soviet Union and other communist countries. In the 1980s around 20 companies were controlled by VPK to channel Moscow support. Several of these companies were started as early as in the 1930s. These companies also had virtual monopoly on import from East European nations subjugated by the Soviets.

In the 1940s were added a number of publishing companies and movie companies to secure the spread of party propaganda (Inafilm, Inapress, Sovjetfilm and AB Tellusfilm). Printing companies were also formed and later during the 1950s and the 1960s a further number of trading companies were added.

By constantly paying too high prices for the work the Swedish companies were doing (for instance printing companies established by VPK), Soviet and allied embassies were supporting the political propaganda of the party.

The party publishing company in Stockholm, Bokforlaget Arbetarkultur, on the other hand had its propaganda printed in communist East Germany (C.G. Röder or Röderdruck in Leipzig). Arbetarkultur also cooperated closely with the Soviet printing house Progress in Moscow. To support Soviet subversion in Sweden Progress hired Swedish communist party members for the translation of books by Marx, Lenin, and Engels into Swedish. Progress then arranged the printing of the books in the Soviet Union to be shipped to Sweden and sold in the party bookshops around the country.

Furthermore the Soviet Embassy in Stockholm purchased the books printed in Sweden, which had already been almost given free of charge to the Swedish communists, at high prices. During for instance 1972 – 1977 at least 19 different books and pamphlets were sold in Sweden using this technique. Large royalties for the publication of the books of Swedish communist authors were also paid. The communist author Arvid Rudberg, for instance, was paid US dollars 40,000 for one of his books.

In the Swedish communist “business empire” the most important company was Tellimpex AB. This company among other products imported furniture from communist Romania, Poland and East Germany. Tellimpex represented the East German company Deutscher Innen- und Aussenhandel, Holz und Papier and Exportilemm of Bukarest. The sales were estimated at US dollars 800,000 per year.

It was of course important, to keep the left in power in Sweden during the Cold War, that the VPK was well financed. The machinations in the business field were noted by the Swedish Security Police but business flourished from 1947 to 1989 and leading members of the differently named Swedish communist parties were happy.

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