Swede behind Auschwitz theft?
The infamous sign “Arbeit Macht Frei” at the entrance to Auschwitz, almost a signature of the hell that was WW2, was stolen a few days before Christmas, later to be found. The Krakow police arrested five Poles involved in the theft from the concentration camp, but Polish radio reports that Swedish authorities are providing help in finding the person who seems to have been the middleman to the real client, a Swede. The sign, which is about 5 meters (9’10”) wide, was found in three pieces in a forest outside the Polish city of Torun. The thieves received 50,000 SEK ($6,900) each for stealing it.

Time to check-out?
The housing shortage and an all too meager wallet prevent many young people from leaving the nest – to many parents' consternation. Seven out of ten parents would like to see their 20-25-year olds move out right away, according to a study made by Novus Opinion. “This indicates that the housing shortage is far from being just a problem for young people. Entire families are feeling the effects of the country-wide housing shortage,” said Barbro Engman, chairman of Hyresgästföreningen (the Swedish Union of Tenants). In Stockholm, every fourth grown-up lives with their parents today. “I’m worried this might turn into a social bomb,” Sven Bergenstråhle, author of a report about young people’s living said earlier this year. In 2001, 8% of all young people felt living at home was the best form of living, today that number is 11%. “The increase only mirrors the situation,” Bergenstråhle continued. “They have no other choice.” According to him, Stockholm needs approximately 36,000 new apartments to fill the need for these young people. At the same time, lower rents are also needed. The average rent for a new one bedroom apartment in Stockholm is 5,000 SEK ($752), and the average person in the report said they could pay no more than 3,800 SEK ($529) a month.

30 new words
The Swedish language has thirty new words. The new words can be found in Språkrådets (the Swedish Language Council) annual list of new words. Some words have a direct connection to a word or a custom in another language or country, like the new word “chefsnappning” (the kidnapping of a boss). The word has its origin in France, where unhappy workers sometimes lock in their boss. The word “grindstad”, also new on this year’s list, is a direct translation of the English “gated community”. Here’s a small list of some of the new words on Språkrådet’s list. Alfanummer: A telephone number in the form of a word or name instead of numbers. Bilsurfa: Balancing on top of a car in motion. Frimester: Taking a vacation (semester) without being hooked-up to e-mail or cell phone. Hemester: Vacation spent at home. Könskonträr: Something or somebody who is completely contrary to what one usually perceives as feminine or masculine. For instance, when a woman takes on a male name. Sporta: Proudly showing off ones clothes. Stjärnfamilj: A family that is different from the traditional nuclear family. Stuprörspolitik: Politics that focuses on one issue instead of having a broader view. Svemester: A vacation spent in Sweden. Tvittra: To twitter (especially on the micro blog Twitter). Yrkessåpa: A reality TV-show that follows people on a certain place of work. Go ahead folks, use these new words – that’s what they’re for!

Royal vacation.
No semester (vacation in Swedish) for crown princess Victoria and her fiancé Daniel Westling. The happy couple instead went to Austria for a romantic long weekend among the snow-topped mountains. Sunday saw them flying back to Stockholm again, somewhat tired-looking but happy. The newspaper Land (predominantly read by readers in rural areas) recently chose Westling, who stems from a small town called Ockelbo and who will become Prince and Duke of Västergötland when he marries Victoria next June, “hottest hillbilly of the year”. We doubt, however, that he will add that to his list of titles.