Anna Lindh 1957 - 2003

Socialist International mourns the loss of Anna Lindh

The Socialist International expresses great sadness and regret upon learning of the enormous loss of Anna Lindh, the Foreign Minister of Sweden, a leading member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, and an esteemed and well respected member of the Socialist International family, who died today as a result of the horrible attack against her by an unknown assailant yesterday in Stockholm.

Anna Lindh was known throughout her career for her passionate commitment to strengthening the values of social democracy in her own country, in Europe and throughout the world, her dedication to young people as the potential builders of a better future and her embrace of the positive during even the most difficult of times. The legacy of Anna Lindh will be profound, for she truly made a difference.

The Socialist International conveys its deepest sympathies to her family, the Swedish Social Democratic Party and the people of Sweden, and also its heartfelt belief that her life and her work will continue through all of those whose lives she touched along the way.

Statement by the Swedish Prime Minister, Göran Persson, following the death of Minister for Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh, Thursday 11 September 2003

It was with great sorrow I learnt that Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anna Lindh, died this morning at 5.29 a.m. from the injuries she suffered in yesterday’s attack.

Our thoughts go to Anna’s family, her husband Bo, her children and other close relatives.

We all share in their grief.

It feels unreal.
It is difficult to fully comprehend.

Anna Lindh was here in our midst so recently.
Committed, quick-thinking, straightforward.
Ready to debate and discuss, to go out onto the streets and campaign.

And now she is gone, torn away from us.
Torn from the democratic cause she valued so highly.
Torn away in the midst of her endeavours, long sustained, informed by respect for others and inspiring their respect.

Her international commitment, going all the way back as it did to her days in the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League, made her a much appreciated colleague in international connections.

Among foreign ministers she quickly gained recognition and respect. She was known for her commitment, drive and expertise.

Last evening and during the night, friends and colleagues from all over the world expressed their sorrow and dismay.

Sweden is known for its openness and democracy, seen as a democratic society where the distance between people and their representatives is and must be small. A tolerant and uniquely cohesive society.

Anna Lindh was a good representative of all of this.
The attack on her has dealt a blow to the society we have built and want to live in.
It undermines trust in society.

That is why it is so important that this crime is quickly cleared up.

It is natural to feel anger and to look for explanations in a situation like this.

How could this happen?
We want a society where everyone can move about freely and safely — even a foreign minister.
We want a society where everyone is safe.

What we need to do now is to come together.

A democratic society can never be defended in any other way.
We must show resolve and unite around the values we want Sweden to embody.

This is the only way in which we can honour Anna Lindh.
It was to democracy and freedom she was most committed.
It was the cause of peace and solidarity that she made her own.

This we must never forget.

Anna Lindh has left us.

Her children have lost their mother and her husband has lost his wife.
The Social Democratic Party has lost one of its most skilful politicians.
The Government has lost an experienced minister and a good colleague.

Sweden has lost one of its foremost representatives, our face to the world.