The Hurting Point – Lars Norén, the play 7:3 and the Malexander Murders

ORIGINAL TITLE: Smärtpunkten

NUMBER OF PAGES: 359

AUTHOR: Elisabeth Åsbrink

ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Natur & Kultur

GENRE: Non-fiction

Can you put Nazis on a stage, have them talk about their hatred, and expect the audience to applaud? Or is the question rather: If there are Nazis on the streets, shouldn’t they be portrayed on stage? Or be invited to public debates?

Twenty years ago, legendary playwright Lars Norén collaborated with three men serving long prison sentences, two of whom were Nazis, for the play Seven Three. The questions raised by the theater project remain frighteningly topical.

On May 28, 1999, the day after the final theater performance, one of the Nazis was granted a furlough. He traveled to the small town of Kisa to rob a bank, resulting in one of the most brutal murders in Swedish criminal history: policemen Olov Borén and Robert Karlström were executed on the road that runs through the village of Malexander.

When The Hurting Point was first published, the reactions revolved around Lars Norén and his responsibility for the incident. Now that Nazis once again roam Swedish streets, there is reason to return to Elisabeth Åsbrink’s profoundly interesting examination and read it with fresh eyes. How can a democracy handle those who want to destroy it from within?