Sweden - Scandal Hit Royal Family Rocked by Queen's Nazi Links
Sweden - The royal family - recovering from revelations of the secret affair the king enjoyed with a pop singer - has been thrown into fresh turmoil over the Nazi past of the queen’s father.
Swedish TV4’s investigative programme Kalla fakta has broadcast the first of a two-part documentary detailing how Queen Silvia’s late father grew rich producing armaments in a factory stolen from the Jews.
When she married in 1976, the queen’s Ger￼man father Walter Sommerlath denied he had ever been a member of the Nazi party. That fiction was exposed some years later by a Swedish newspaper which proved he joined the movement in 1934.
Earlier this year Queen Silvia spoke for the first time about the issue, in a TV documentary in which she said her father was not “politically active” and the factory he ran produced toy trains and hair dryers, as well as parts for gasmasks for civilians. She said he did not take the factory over from Jewish owners.
Now the revelations about Sommerlath - who was living in Brazil at the time he joined the Nazis and returned to Germany on the eve of war - have plunged the royals into a new crisis.
Swedish investigative journalist Bosse Schön said: “The truth about Queen Silvia’s father, which she doesn’t want to tell herself or her family, is that he joined Hitler’s Nazi party beginning on 1 December, 1934.
“Also, Queen Silvia’s father worked during his time in Brazil for the German company Acos-Burderus-do Brasil-Ltda, which used wartime prisoners as slave labour in Nazi Germany.”
Sommelath resettled in Berlin and, on 24 May, 1939, he took over the company Wechsler & Hennig. Documents found by Kalla fakta show Sommerlath took over the firm from Efim Wechsler, a Jew, and this was part of the so-called “Ayranisation” of such enterprises according to the Nuremberg Laws which stripped Jews of their rights and property.
He bought it at a knock-down price, as was common at the time. Jews needed the money to try to escape from Germany.
The documents also show his factory produced items used by the Luftwaffe - anti-aircraft guns and also parts for tanks.
The queen’s brother Ralf said she was “terribly upset” and called the documentary “lies and slanders”.
The queen’s attempts earlier this year to play down the Nazi past of her father have led to fierce criticism of her in the media, both in Germany and Sweden.
She has refused all comment but a statement was issued by the palace ahead of part two of the documentary, which runs in Sweden on Sunday.
“The queen has no reason to comment on the content of the programme. Of course the queen is sorry about her father becoming a member of the National Socialist Party in 1934
“The Queen first got knowledge of his membership in adulthood, and she never had the opportunity to discuss this with her father.”
Her husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf, was recently exposed regarding an affair he had with singer Camilla Henemark, who was the lead singer of a rock band called Army of Lovers.
The affair was known to Queen Silvia, the book claimed.
Rumours about the king’s colourful private life have been rife in Sweden for years, but the country’s tabloids had traditionally refrained from writing about them.
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