Hikers Find Live Nazi Grenade From World War II Near Swedish Ski Resort

© Fotolia / Evgeny KorshenkovГраната в руках
Граната в руках - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.09.2021
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Wartime echoes in Sweden are rather seldom, given the fact that the country remained formally neutral throughout World War II despite maintaining close ties to Nazi Germany.
A live grenade from World War II has been found by mountain hikers one kilometre from the lift system in Riksgränsen, a popular ski resort in Norrbotten County.

The German grenade, measuring 33 centimetres long and eight centimetres in diameter, was found between two stones, right on the border between Sweden and Norway, national broadcaster SVT reported. Police and military specialists were immediately summoned after the hikers' alarm.

“We blew it up on the spot, there is no reason to take any risks. It was live and fully loaded,” Captain Robert Eriksson of the Swedish Armed Forces group for explosive ordnance disposal said.

According to Eriksson, a 800-metre risk area was set up, and a police helicopter was used ahead of the blast.

“It was a real bang, but afterwards you don't notice much”, he said. “It is always difficult with old, environmentally impacted ammunition that has been lying around for so long, you don't know how sensitive it is,” Eriksson said.

According to Eriksson, ammunition from World War II is “not very common” in Sweden. He refused to speculate on how the grenade ended up where it was found.
Riksgränsen is Sweden’s northernmost ski resort, located some 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, and is famous for its lifts operating under the midnight sun in May and June.
Sweden notoriously maintained a policy of neutrality during World War II through political manoeuvring and concessions made to both Nazi Germany and, later, the Western Allies. During the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Sweden allowed the Wehrmacht to use Swedish railways to quickly move troops and heavy weapons from Norway to Finland. Furthermore, iron ore was sold to Nazi Germany throughout the war. In the words of wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Sweden “ignored the greater moral issues of the war and played both sides for profit”.
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