New revelations of Ikea founder's nazi past

5:13 min

The founder of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, is once again facing questions about his alleged nazi past following revelations in a new book.

SVT television journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink's book "Och i Wienervald står träden kvar" claims that as a young man, the Swedish multi-billionaire was an active member and recruiter in Sweden's Socialist Union (SSS) formerly known as the National Socialist People's Party of Sweden.

This adds to other nazi links, which have been known and previously written about in the Swedish media, such as his close friendship with the Swedish fascist activist Per Engdahl. Kamprad was a member of Engdahl's party The New Swedish Movement between 1942 and 1945.

Åsbrink's book reveals that Kamprad actively recruited people to the SSS, and says that the Swedish intelligence service identified Kamprad's involvement as a teenager in the nazi movement in 1943 and created a dossier, which reveals his involvement in recruiting people to the movement.

The Ikea founder from Småland, now 85, has stated previously that his affiliation with Per Engdahl's party was the "greatest mistake of his life."

Freelance journalist and expert on far right extremism, Anna-Lena Lodenius, told Radio Sweden that the new revelations about Kamprad's alleged involvement in the National Socialist People's Party of Sweden would change the view people have of him.

"It does somehow because then you cannot just think that this was a mistake that he waas a friend of Per Engdahl because if he was already a member of a nazi organisation then he must have been perfectly aware of what this other organisation stood for," Lodenius said.

A spokesperson for Kamprad told TT news agency on Wednesday that "Ingvar time and time again has told of the big mistake of his life," Per Heggenes said.

Kamprad has gone on record as speaking of a troubled period in his life and said he was more of a fascist than a nazi.