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The political development in Germany 1933-1987 in the eyes of Swedish Social Democrats. "Law or fist" - Torsten Nilsson about Willy Brandt

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Started in 2021


Izabela Dahl

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Torsten Nilsson was one of Swedish Social Democratic politicians representing Willy Brandt's generation. This project aims to document Torsten Nilsson's view on Willy Brandt as social democrat and Brandt's impact on German social democracy. It will review Torsten Nilsson memoirs as document in context of its time, and as testimony of Nilsson’s political experience that included a number of ministerial positions, such as Ministry of Defense 1951-57, Ministry of Social Affairs until 1962 and thereafter Ministry of Foreign Affairs, until 1971. His book ”Lag eller näve” (”Law or fist”) gives a record of the German chancellor’s Willy Brandt international perception. Special interest is put to the international perspective on how Brandt's stabilization policy of East-West relations was in line in with Swedish policy in the Baltic Sea area.



  • Bundeskanzler Willy Brandt Stiftung