Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon, expressed in the fact that the victim is imbued with sympathy for the aggressor. For example, hostages over time begin to sympathize with their captors and voluntarily seek to assist them, even hindering the operation to free them.

The author of the term "Stockholm Syndrome" is the famous Swedish criminologist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the hostage-taking in Stockholm in 1973 and introduced the term into "everyday life" during the analysis of the situation. And it was like this:

On August 23, 1973, an armed criminal Jan Erik Ulsson, who escaped from prison, broke into a bank in central Stockholm and captured four bank employees - three women and a man (Bridgette Landblad, Christine Enmark, Elisabeth Oldgren and Sven Safstrom). The robber put forward demands: money, weapons, a car and freedom for his cellmate - Clark Olafsson. Otherwise, he threatened to kill the hostages.

Hostages - Bridgette Landblad, Christine Enmark, Elizabeth Oldgren and Sven Safstrom

One of the robber's demands was immediately satisfied - Clark Olafsson was taken from prison to the bank. And the unhappy (or maybe happy) company of hostages had to spend more than five days together with the terrorists in a small room and baffle psychologists with their behavior.

Because Not all Ullson's demands were met (there was no money, weapons and a car), he began to threaten the hostages and promised to hang them all in the event of an assault. He also eloquently demonstrated the seriousness of his intentions by wounding one of the two police officers who entered the building, and disarming the other and making him sing a song at gunpoint. The situation was tense. However, two days later, the relationship between the robbers and the hostages changed somewhat. Or rather, they have improved.

Jan Erik Ulsson left - 1973, right - present Clark Olofsson left - 1973, right - present

The captured prisoners suddenly began to criticize the police and demand an end to efforts to release them. One of the hostages, Christine Enmark, after tense negotiations between Ulsson and the government, phoned Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palma herself and said that she was not at all afraid of Ulsson and Ulafsson, but, on the contrary, sympathizes with them and demands to immediately fulfill their demands and release everyone.

In the end, on August 28, on the sixth day of the drama, the police safely stormed the premises with a gas attack. Ulsson and Ulafsson surrendered and the hostages were released.

The released hostages stated that they were not afraid of the criminals who did nothing wrong to them, but were afraid of the storming of the police. Subsequently, warm relations were maintained between the former hostages and their invaders. According to some reports, the four even forked out for lawyers for Ulsson and Ulafsson.

During the trial, Olofsson managed to prove that he did not help Ulsson, but, on the contrary, tried to save the hostages. All charges were dropped from him and released. On freedom, he met with Christine Enmark, and they became friends with families.

Ulsson was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Thanks to this story, he became very popular in Sweden, received hundreds of letters from fans in prison, and then married one of them.

An FBI analysis of more than 4, 700 hostage-taking cases with barricades has shown that 27% of victims exhibit Stockholm Syndrome to one degree or another.