History

Queen Silvia to investigate father's past

"He was one of the perpetrators"
4:43 min

Sweden's Queen Silvia and her relatives are to investigate her father's reported Nazi past to after reports that he took over a Jewish owned factory in Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

"The Queen shall use her contacts in both Germany and Brazil and with their help try to obtain more information," palace press spokesperson Bertil Ternert told TV4's Kalla Fakta programme.

The Queens' father, Walter Sommerlath, who died in 1990, joined the German Nazi party while he was living in Brazil in 1934. Four years later he moved to Germany. He stayed a member until the demise of Nazi germany in 1945.

In November-December last year, TV4's "Kalla Fakta" programme reported that Walter Sommerlath in 1939 took over a metal factory in Berlin owned by a German-Jew, Efim Wechsler.

Some six months earlier, Queen Silvia had for the first time commented on her fathers membership of the Nazi party. She said that her father had not been an active Nazi "he was never a soldier" she said, implying that he had become a member of the party because he had to.

Up until then, no-one had commented on Queen Silvia's fathers role during the Nazi years, except Walther Somerlath himself, who in an interview with the tabloid Expressen in 1976 denied ever having been a member of the Nazi party.

But now the Quees has decided to try to find out more. Royal Palace press spokesperson Bertil Ternert told TV4's Kalla Fakta over the weekend, that the Queen "never talked with her father about this. His membership of the Nazi Party was never spoken about with her".

Queen Silvia wants to find out the connections between Germany and Brazil and between her own family and the Jewish family.

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