Negativity. Fear. Concern. These are some of the reactions many Swedes are experiencing about the influx of immigrants to Sweden in the last couple of years. So, I became curious to learn about some of those individuals who came here as refugees or immigrants to make a better life for themselves. People with roots somewhere else who built a home here and who contributed to Swedish society in a positive way.
For the next seven days, I will celebrate these people. My hope is that we can lift our eyes from the challenges of immigration and understand what useful contributions these people can make to society if given the chance. To our society. Our Sweden.
First out is Georg Klein – Hungarian refugee and cancer researcher
Georg Klein was born 28 July 1925 in Budapest, Hungary. He died in Stockholm in December 2016. Born into a Jewish family, he survived the Haulocaust by escaping from a deportation train. In 1947, this time to escape the Soviet occupation, he arrived in Stockholm where he studied medicine at Karolinska Institute. Georg Klein arrived as a young refugee and became one of Sweden’s most important cancer researchers.
Together with his wife, Eva Klein, who also emigrated from Hungary, he built up an institute for tumor biology at Karolinska which became a world-leading research institute for over 4 decades. Georg and Eva Klein are responsible for a long row of discoveries within cancer research and lay the foundation for modern tumor immunotherapy. In addition to this, Georg Klein authored 10 books on a broad variety of subjects.
Arriving in Sweden with nothing, Georg and Eva had drive and ambition. They integrated into Swedish society, had three children and several grandchildren.
Their important contribution to cancer research has saved the lives of countless Swedes and other people all over the world.