The Alexander Aminoff case by Sven Hessle


Sven Hessle's contribution to the Alexander Aminoff debate in the Swedish Daily (Svenska Dagbladet), July 3, 1984.




Sven Hessle, professor in Social Sciences at the University of Stockholm, was assistant professor in 1984 when he wrote this article as a contribution to the Alexander Aminoff debate that Birgitta Wolf started in the Swedish Daily on July 1, 1984. The Editor at the Swedish Daily, Fredrik Braconnier, refused to publish Sven Hessle's article of July 3, 1984. This article was however published in Birgitta Wolf's book "The Alexander Case - A confiscated child".

Sven Hessle has kindly given his consent for us to publish his article on our site.

Translation: Ruby Harrold-Claesson, Atty-at-law.



The greatest interference that a state can exercise against individual citizens is to deprive an adult of his parenthood. To take away a mother's possibility to exercise her parental responsibility over her child does not only mean that the society cuts off her rights to build a bridge between the past and future generations through her child. It also means that the society is giving the child the message that he/she should deny his/her mother, and instead accept another person, a stranger, as his/her new parent. Taking away parenthood from an adult is therefore a kind of death declaration over living persons, which risks affecting the children most of all. That is why such measures are so uncommon. At least in other countries.

A number of cases in the Swedish public-care-debate have received international attention. Some people claim that these cases are the exceptions in an otherwise well functioning welfare state. Others, indignant over the publicised cases, claim that they are distorted and insufficiently presented by tabloid journalists to suit the parents' terms and conditions.

As far as I am concerned, these cases are the top of an iceberg, and below the surface there is an on-going ideological change creating despise for and indifference towards the most delicate relationship upon which a society uttermost is built: the relationship parent-child.

For that reason, the internationally observed and tragic case of the Aminoffs is an important case of principles. In its grotesque and obvious nakedness, the handling of this case shows not only how rigid and insensitive our social system can be, when confronted with the unending richness in variety and emotional expressions of human life. The Aminoff case is also an expression of the cynical attitude towards people who refuse to adopt themselves to the ideological pattern that is being forced on them by ideologically indoctrinated "experts" and civil servants.

The Southern Roslag District court decided on 20/6 1984: "that the care of Alexander Aminoff, born 690316 civ. reg. nr. 9412, should be bestowed upon Lars-Åke Lundqvist, born 430503 civ. reg. nr.0175".

The final axe has thus fallen between the 15-year old boy and his mother. This case has been reported in many articles during the past years, including this newspaper. Alexander has spent 4 1/2 years in foster homes, hidden away from his mother. The mother has done all that she, as a journalist and mother, could do to get to see her only child again. Among other things, she has written articles both at home and abroad.

In those parts of the verdict that have been made public (greater parts have been made secret) one can get a certain superficial opinion of the environment in which Alexander has been held hidden for so long.

On the one hand Rosa's foster home: "The District Court has ... got a tangible impression that they (the foster parents) are suitable to take care of children in difficult situations".

On the other hand they deem that it is "serious" that the foster parents have received far too many other children at the same time, and that it is "a concern" that the foster parents have had a "schism" which made the foster mother leave the foster home and marry someone else. The fact that the foster mother was recently sentenced for gross fraud for having received too much salary for the foster home does not seem to be aggravating circumstances in this context, since the crime did not include the money that was being paid by the municipality that had put Alexander in their care!!!

The choice of words of the District Court reveals a lack of understanding for Alexander's situation in the foster home. Or, perhaps they are making a conscious effort to hide what is going on, like everyone has been doing these past four years by consciously hiding the misery in the foster home behind gold-edged, idealising phrases from some of our country's more experienced experts within this field. And, not to mention the complete inefficiency and incompetence shown by the Municipality of Lidingö in this case.

Against this background, the District court could not in god conscience order Alexander to remain in the foster home with for example the foster father as his specially appointed legal guardian. They chose to let the parental responsibility for Alexander fall upon a total stranger.

On what grounds does one take parental responsibility from the mother? (the father had renounced all rights).

There are three grounds for the decisions, in my opinion.


1. Old investigation material

Things that happened before Alexander was hidden away in the foster home rest like a cursed shadow over the present situation. Despite the fact that the material used in the investigation is old (5 years and older) and contradictory. Eva Aminoff objects to some of the information that appears in this voluminous and aged material, among other things.


2. Eva Aminoff's intransigence towards aspects in the Swedish society

As a journalist, she has in many contexts pronounced very strong criticism against the way the authorities have handled her own case, and also criticised the Swedish society from the point of view of an immigrant. Her intransigence against certain occurrences in our society has thus contributed to her being not approved as a parent in Sweden.


3. Expert opinions

In my opinion, the most serious thing is that certain psychiatric experts have been allowed to dictate the verdict this time. These experts are not only accomplices to the fact that Alexander has been able to be held hidden in the foster home for such a long time without anyone being allowed in. They have also given the Municipality of Lidingö advice to remove the legal guardianship for Alexander from Eva Aminoff: a recommendation that appeared as soon as they began hiding Alexander in the foster home. The council of the Municipality of Lidingö and the court are therefore acting upon their recommendation. I am therefore no longer surprised that the reports of just these experts have been declared secret. They will remain secret for many years, as shown by Birgitta Wolf's articles in the Swedish Daily.

Since the New Year, I myself have worked as an expert in the Aminoff case. I have obviously diverging opinions from the Mafia that many years ago have grouped themselves together around their misconceptions. I have for example been shocked and distressed over the fact that Alexander Aminoff has been renamed Alexander Jönsson in the foster home. And I have been shocked and distressed by the fact that they have deemed it possible to question Eva Aminoff as legal guardian, without having met her or at least to have made a qualified appraisal of mother and son together. They were ripped apart violently when he was a boy (10 years old). Now he is a teenager (15 years old).

This court decision is unusual in so far as the court does not weigh the pros and cons, which is the normal procedure. In the verdict there are open speculations. The accusations are piled up uncritically against Eva Aminoff. The verdict is therefore a dispatch of a pre-decided sentence.

But, perhaps the most shocking of all is that the verdict is pronounced in full consciousness that Alexander is with his mother outside the country. After having been interrogated during the court proceedings, he escaped from the foster home one month before the verdict was delivered.

A reunion could not be prevented. The question is how much damage has been inflicted upon Alexander during these years when he "for his own best" was hidden away from his near and dear ones?

For Alexander's sake, if for nothing else, the court proceedings could have been adjourned, when mother and son were reunited and taken refuge.

Instead, the court has in fact condemned Alexander to return "home" from his home country, Finland, and his mother, for his own best and subject himself to the guardianship of a complete stranger of Swedish nationality!

This is just the tip of the iceberg.


Sven Hessle

Assistant professor


The Alexander Case - A Confiscated Child

Alexander Aminoff's linguistic proficiency in childhood

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