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When I was a child, my father often mentioned Denmark and Sweden as examples of civilized countries, real democracies where citizens had rights and duties. I remember him sighing, as if to make us understand that our own country was a long way from this situation. With his modest income, he was never able to travel to these countries, but he was fascinated by the equality among citizens, and between men and women, that prevailed there. He was especially intrigued by the monarchy in Nordic countries, which people respected as a symbolic system without having to put up with its escapades and extravagances. He also recalled Denmark’s attitude toward the Jews at the time of the gas chambers. In short, he loved these countries and their culture.

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