Amazing immigrants in Sweden: Part 3 Negra Efendic

negra efendic

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

Part 3: Negra Efendić

Sometimes when we imagine groups of immigrants and refugees, it is easy to forget the children. At the age of 13, with her parents, Negra Efendic fled the war in Bosnia. She was born in a town called Srebenica where, in 1995, 8000 men and boys were executed.  Her father managed to escape and flee to Sweden.

After a difficult period, her family settled and Negra went to school and ultimately studied journalism in the small Swedish town of Motala. After working at the newspaper in Borås, she started working at national paper ‘Svenska Dagbladet’ where she covers migration and immigration issues. In 2016, she published the book ‘Jag var precis som du’ – ‘I was just like you’ – where she recounts the experience of fleeing to Sweden and living as a refugee here.

She is living proof that refugees in Sweden have valid stories, often stories of horror. Are we prepared to listen?

Amazing immigrants in Sweden: Part 1 Georg Klein

georgklein

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.