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Silvia's dad in deal with Jewish businessman

Silvia's dad in deal with Jewish businessman

Published: 09 Aug 2011 08:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Aug 2011 08:22 GMT+02:00

The news has emerged after the conclusion of an investigation into alleged links between the Queen's father Walter Sommerlath and the Nazis.

Sommerlath reached a settlement with Efim Wechsler to take over his company in Berlin and in exchange handed over a coffee plantation in Brazil.

"I have searched in the Brazilian and German archives and found that my father and Efim Wechsler made an agreement on the factory in Berlin and coffee plantation in Brazil," Queen Silvia told Göteborgs-Posten.

According to the Queen it was her father's transfer of the plantation, and three plots in São Paulo in 1939 that made it possible for Wechsler to move to Brazil. Wechsler had already in 1938 been urged by the authorities to leave Germany.

"All of this has come as a complete news both to me and my brothers. Our father never said anything about this time and we kids did not ask either," the Queen said.

After six months in his new homeland the coffee plantation returned to a relative of Walter Sommerlath's wife.

Queen Silvia announced in May that she intended to get together with her relatives to investigate reports of her father's alleged links with Nazism.

The Queen has received assistance in the investigation of a cousin working as a lawyer in Brazil and a former Swedish national archivist.

According to a plethora of reports, Walther Sommerlath, who died in 1990, joined the Nazi party in 1934.

Last year a TV4 documentary series Kalla Fakta (The Cold Facts) reported a widely rumoured story that on his return from Brazil, as part of the so-called Aryanisation of Jewish assets in Germany in 1939, he took over a factory which was owned by a Jew.

Silvia, who has previously made public her desire to be more open with the press reacted angrily to the revelations in the documentary and replied with a private letter of complaint to Jan Scherman, who was general manager of the television channel at the time.

She denied her father was ever politically active or even in the military and Sommerlath continued to deny the allegations and any membership in the Nazi Party up untll his death.

Silva has been criticised widely in the press for not clarifying the stories which have refused to go away, so the news that she wanted to make a full investigation of the links between Germany and Brazil as well as between the Jewish family and her own came as quite a surprise.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:30 August 9, 2011 by engagebrain
The coffee plantation was returned after six months - was the factory returned after the war ?
13:29 August 9, 2011 by cogito
"Silva has been criticised widely in the press for not clarifying the stories..."

No. The Swedish press covered up for her for until very recently.
14:59 August 9, 2011 by StockholmSam
@engagebrain-

The article was a bit confusing on that point. If the plantation was "returned," then it would have been turned back over to the Jewish family from which it was received. Who was the relative of Sommerlath to which it was returned and when, prior to the queen's father, did that relative own the plantation? The whole story sounds to me as if the queen's father took advantage of the plight of this Jewish businessman and "stole" his assets. The right thing to do would have been to simply help the man get out of Nazi Germany without such a huge capital gain.
15:20 August 9, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
I met Queen Silvia back in 1982 when the Royal couple paid a visit to my country, Mexico. I have spoken with her in Sweden some five times. I am truly convinced that the Swedish Royal House does better things for the country than the Socialdemocrats did or the present government is doing.

The King and the Queen seems to be the favourite target of the infamous tabloids in Sweden; yes, those who love to print how Little Red Riding Hood was raped by the Big Bad Wolf or keep on going around and around with the Shame Exhibition, alias Pride Parade, or how Kiki Danielson lost 10 kilos or how Carola got drunk and was about to be raped and so on.

My personal opinion is that Queen's father made just a business deal with Efim Wechsler. You know: I sell you this and you sell me that. A simple exchange of goods and services. I do not think that the deal had nothing to do with helping Wechsler to run to Brazil. That is my and only my opinion.

But honestly, who cares what happened so many years ago? Those many who have been attacking the Royal Couple for this and for that, should dig into their pasts. It is possible that they find out that their relatives were actually no making buisiness deals with a Jew, but that they were actually helping the Nazis and that they did not change their surnames to Göebbels, Himmler or Ribbentrop just because they were not that gutsy? Why don't they really dig deeper into the Wallenberg's past? Are they free of guilt? Or, perhaps they are part owners ot the Swedish media. Who knows. Your nose?
16:26 August 9, 2011 by engagebrain
In the 1930s jews were allowed to leave Germany, provided they left with nothing. A major problem was finding a country that would accept them. The deal under investigation allows Wechsler to leave for Brazil, on the basis that he owns a coffee plantation in Brazil.

So Wechsler gets out of Germany, enters Brazil, and a few months later hands back the coffee plantation. Overall he is alive, out of Germany but his assets now belong to the Queen's father. The test of whether he was helping out someone in distress or exploiting their distress, is whether after the war the Queen's father returned the factory to Wechsler.
17:19 August 9, 2011 by Panoptes
Already after only 5 posts, the myth that mr Wechsler had to unjustly "return" and "hand back" the coffee plantation is being perpetuated.

If you care to read dr Norberg's report (http://www.kungahuset.se/download/18.70e7de59130bc8da54e80002060/A+report+2011.pdf), you will see that the transaction included a remuneration of 30 million Reis for the "return" of the property.

Moreover, mr Wechsler kept the other property consisting of land, which, due to its proximity to the railway tracks and to the growing Sao Paolo indutry, would prove to be attractive.

Moreover, before mr Wechsler had even met mr Sommerlath, the German State had declared mr Wechsler persona non grata. However, if he sold his company for cash, he would not have been able to take it with him abroad. His only chance was an exchange deal for property abroad.
20:12 August 9, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
#5

16:26 August 9, 2011 by engagebrain

"The test of whether he was helping out someone in distress or exploiting their distress, is whether after the war the Queen's father returned the factory to Wechsler."

To return or not to return. That is the question.

16:26 August 9, 2011 by engagebrain

"In the 1930s jews were allowed to leave Germany, provided they left with nothing. A major problem was finding a country that would accept them."

Engagebrain, the problem was , like the German newspaper Völkischer Beobachter wrote after the Evian Conference in July 1938 and Hitler gloated, saying, 'It is a shameful spectacle to see how the whole democratic world is oozing sympathy for the poor tormented Jewish people, but remains hard hearted and obdurate when it comes to helping them….."

Why did the newspaper published what he did and why did Hitler said what he said?

Well, Engagebrain.

"In July 1938, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, responding to mounting political pressure, called for an international conference to address the refugee problem. Thirty-three countries including Britain, her dominions, and her colonies, Scandinavian and other European and Latin American countries were also invited. Some countries, which would have liked to be included, were not invited, including the Republic of Ireland, which eventually did attend, Portugal and Luxembourg. Poland and Rumania were rejected, as they were not regarded as likely countries of Jewish immigration but they, and the Union of South Africa sent observers to the conference. Germany was not invited since it was seen as the source of the problem."

And you want to know what the result was for the infamous conference? Well, sit down and read carefully.

During the nine-day meeting, delegate after delegate rose to express sympathy for the refugees. But most countries, including the United States and Britain, offered excuses for not letting in more refugees. Only one country, the Dominican Republic, offered to grant large numbers of Jews sanctuary.

And, to open your eyes more, you should read about the tragedy of the S.S. St Louis. Yes, the ship that with some four hundred first-class passengers and five hundred tourist-class passengers, all Jewish, arrived in Cuba where they would await their quota number to be able to enter the United States. Neither Cuba nor the USA accepted them and the S.S. St Louis, had to return to Europe on June 7, 1939.

As you can see (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/stlouis.html) Sweden and 89 other countries, played the stupids and only the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC offered to grant large numbers of Jews sanctuary.
20:16 August 9, 2011 by procrustes
The key point is what did Queen Silva have to do with any of this? She was a child at the time!

The entire "issue" is irrelevant to her, her character or her children. If her father was a saint, that would not transfer "goodie dust" to her anymore than misdeeds stain her.

I can understand that she might want to set the record straight in memory of her father, but, alas, the Queen's advisers may have failed her. There is a type that will believe the worst about anyone because they enjoy such opinion and no fact can ever be clear enough to dissuade them of their pleasure.

The rest of us shake our head and feel sorry that she must suffer such cruelty.
20:30 August 9, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Sorry, I wrote 90 contries. The number was 33.

and procrustes is right as a righteous person should be. The tabloids (Aftonbladet, Expressen and TL) should go and fly a kite and leave Queen Silvia in peace. Past is past and she cannot undo the past.
20:55 August 9, 2011 by engagebrain
J. L. Belmar

you basically repeat what I said, but somehow believe you are saying something different.

One of the major problems for German Jews was finding a country that would accept them. Oddly fleeing Nazis, helped by the Vatican had no such problems.
22:46 August 9, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
#10 20:55 August 9, 2011 by engagebrain

You know, I am a parrot, but you might be a lier. I am not repeating what you said. If I did, just tell me where did you say what I "stole" from you.

There is nothing new under the Sun. Nothing new. What I am thinking at this precise moment, is being thought my many others, maybe thousands.

What I did was enriching what you wrote in 16:26 August 9, 2011 by engagebrain, comment #5. So at least you can say "thanks JL" or, am I wrong?
22:56 August 9, 2011 by Smallnose
1939 is an unlikely year for a fair deal. Just my two cents.
11:38 August 10, 2011 by johnny1939
Those were different times and our way of looking at situations are different now. The Queen has done nothing wrong and was not even born at the time. Start the blame game again the worst blames lies on countries that refused taking Jewish refugees and in many cases send them back to their death. Whatever Sommerlath might have done it is nothing compared to what else happened.
12:23 August 10, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
My number 4 was

"My personal opinion is that Queen's father made just a business deal with Efim Wechsler. You know: I sell you this and you sell me that. A simple exchange of goods and services. I do not think that the deal had nothing to do with helping Wechsler to run to Brazil. That is my and only my opinion."

Now this is

The Associated Press

Posted: Aug 9, 2011 1:18 PM ET

Last Updated: Aug 9, 2011 7:37 PM ET

The father of Sweden's queen helped at least one Jew escape Hitler's Germany, according to a report commissioned by Queen Silvia in response to media allegations about his Nazi past.

The report, published Tuesday, said although Walther Sommerlath belonged to the NSDAP Nazi party, he appeared to have been an inactive member and had helped a Jewish businessman escape the Holocaust.

Sweden's Queen Sylvia commissioned the report into her father. Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

Swedish media reported in 2002 that Sommerlath had joined Germany's Nazi party in 1934 and took over Efim Wechsler's consumer goods company under unclear circumstances in 1939.

But in Tuesday's report, World War II expert Erik Norberg said documents indicate that just before the outbreak of World War II Sommerlath helped Wechsler escape Germany to South America, where he had offered him a coffee plantation and other assets in exchange for the company.

Norberg said the offer was "clearly an attractive one," because the exclusion of Jews from business life in Germany meant he could not take his assets with him.

However, other researchers have questioned the nobility of Sommerlath's actions, as he too gained from the deal.

Findings dismissed

The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants on Tuesday dismissed the report's findings as "self-serving" and said they lacked credibility.

"The report was not an independent inquiry — it was commissioned by the queen with the participation of her cousin, a Brazilian lawyer. Such a probe can only raise suspicions of a whitewash," the organization said in a statement.

"What Queen Silvia has produced only raises further troubling questions," it added.

Silvia commissioned the report in May, in reaction to the Swedish Cold Facts TV program that portrayed her and her father negatively, the Royal Court said at the time.

On Tuesday, she was quoted as telling local daily Goteborgsposten that she was surprised by the report's findings.

"All this has come as a complete surprise to me and my brothers," Silvia said. "Our father never told us anything about this time and us children never asked either."

I was damn right. Poor Quenn Silvia, but she got it coming. It was not too bright to order the investigation to be conducted by his friend Erik Norberg and his cousing, a lawyer in Brazil. Did she expected this would be believable? No way. She is paying the price for her naiveté.
12:46 August 10, 2011 by cogito
J.L.

Your research is always appreciated.

Norberg was behind this report? No wonder then that the conclusions met with scepticism. N. is a royal groupie. He once applied for a post as Lord Chamberlain in the palace.

Did Q.S. really think no one would look at who was running the investigation? How naive can she be? And don't the royals have anyone with brains advising them?
22:12 August 10, 2011 by Just_Kidding
In 1939 Gov. of USA returned a ship (St. Louis ) full of stateless Jewish people to the shithole that they were coming from (Germany). Lets dig into this story!! :)
22:49 August 10, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
#16 22:12 August 10, 2011 by Just_Kidding

In my # 7, I wrote about many things, but the following paragraph does not need, in my opinion any more digging:

"And, to open your eyes more, you should read about the tragedy of the S.S. St Louis. Yes, the ship that with some four hundred first-class passengers and five hundred tourist-class passengers, all Jewish, arrived in Cuba where they would await their quota number to be able to enter the United States. Neither Cuba nor the USA accepted them and the S.S. St Louis, had to return to Europe on June 7, 1939.

But you are right Just_Kidding. Let's dig more into this story and we might find out how sweet Swedes were with the Jewish people.
14:18 August 11, 2011 by Rishonim
I think Silvia looks like el Guason.
14:25 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Is "el Guason" the latest plastic surgeon in Stockholm? He will be a complete flop. Poor Queen. In that too, you were poorly advised by your P.R. experts at the Royal House.
15:15 August 11, 2011 by Rishonim
J.L. Belmar, Hihihi. Te acordás del fantastico Guason? The poor Queen cannot catch a break.
16:55 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
15:15 August 11, 2011 by Rishonim

Of course. Fredrik Reinfeldt. Who else? Sweden has turned to ba the greatest Jokeland in the world. Just go around and read The "Breaking News" at The Local: You will see what is all about. Take care. Just get a vaccine on time.

Do you want to read worldwide news in a jiffy? Just go to my news site at www.newsknockout. com

and you'll see what am I talking about. Unfortunately, my website was not designed for comments, facebooks, legbooks, twitters, titers, etc. Only to provide worldwide news in a single page. Take a look.
21:38 August 11, 2011 by Icarusty
14:59 August 9, 2011 by StockholmSam

The whole story sounds to me as if the queen's father took advantage of the plight of this Jewish businessman and "stole" his assets. The right thing to do would have been to simply help the man get out of Nazi Germany without such a huge capital gain.

Well duh. Welcome to the inhumanity of World War 2 - from all sides. Do you think Americans, British, Swedes and other Allied didn't exploit the weaker allies/neutrals to their own gain? The Aryanisation of Jewish accents was the most obvious. Jews just wanted to escape with their lives, meaning a lot of greedy non Jews exploited this fact and used their assets as leverage. The Americans took all assets from their fellow Americans of Japanese descent during WW2 - 50 years later they gave back a few thousand pounds compensation to the ones who were still alive. Land, businesses, property etc - all taken freely by the white Americans and never given back. Much like with Jewish assets here.

And don't think this doesn't happen now. A modern equivalent is the freezing of assets - Libya, Zimbabwe etc - by global banks (read: banks owned by western governments/controlled by western alliances) - even in "neutral" countries where banking is popular, western countries can bully them into freezing and thus keeping assets of people/countries they don't like. I imagine this will happen with the Chinese in the future - we don't have any money, you have loads, so we'll just take yours.
22:54 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
21:38 August 11, 2011 by Icarusty

You just discovered the luke warm water. Keep on and you will discover the hole for the doughnuts. Good job.Himmler sends you his best regards and Goebbels is granting you the "Nincompoop Prize".
01:04 August 12, 2011 by Smallnose
In most countries (at least in non-neutral countries) blood money profiteers were convicted after world war II. An investigation after all those years is a little late.

Kristallnacht was already in 1938 and he cut a deal in 1939. The jewish business man gave up his company for a passport in 1939 and Silvia's father already joined in 1934 the evil empire. Wallenburg would have given a passport for free. Although the motive could have been future gain for him and his family. I don't know how altruistic he was. Conspiracy-thinkers might see a clue why the Wallenberg is not investigated that much if you build the case around passports. No yad vashem-tree for Mr

Sommerlath, that's for sure. BTW not many Swedes got a yad vashem-tree, that makes you wonder.....
15:15 August 13, 2011 by bells on the knight
i can't figure out what was so special with this "deal" that's happening all the time in time of war/conflict and will continue to happen in the future.

wartime profiteers are just too common and part of the parcel - vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, sierra leone, angola and on and on. even the UN is subject to racketeering, embezzlement and bribery.
20:30 August 13, 2011 by zeulf
@ J L Belmar re Your #4 post: Having spoken to the q five times does not qualify you as an expert on her fathers "Deal", what does matter it getting the facts out and examined. the pain on survivors goes on long after the crime.

Your opinion on the "I sell You this and You sell me that" is rather childish at best, the only way to know what happened is to expose this problen to the light and let the facts tell us what occured, was sylvias dad a good guy or not, her wealth and status demand a closer look.

@ Icarusty, certainly NOT all Japanese-Americans were illegally locked up which by the way is perfectly legal to do with alien residents. look at Hawaii where its Japanese-American population was NOT put into camps nor did they loose their property. In the case of the West coast population, many times it was the local councils which delt with the property. not the central gov.
08:33 August 14, 2011 by bells on the knight
well belmar is a self proclaimed prophet who claims he's 100% right and anyone daring challenging him will get the appropriate punishment - lol
18:45 August 14, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
20:30 August 13, 2011 by zeulf

You just do not know how to read. Go to my #14 and to cogito's #15 and you will read that the Queen goofed and that the deal was "I sell you this in exchange of this". Nothing more and nothing less.

08:33 August 14, 2011 by bells on the knight

Instead of bells on the knight, you should have balls in between. I have never proclaimed that i am 100% right. Never. You are another parrot who neither reads correctly, nor understands anything because you have nothing inside your head. In Swedish, "du är stängd i huvudet". And yes, I am a prophet who predicts that you will not last too long in TL threads because you have nothing to add to the comments. You do not know how to debate and you are a poor "papagayo" who can only shout "bells, bells, I need balls, balls".

LOL

And now, it is time for a time out. I cannot have an intelligent debate with people like you because I am a complete nincompoop, addlehead, blockhead, bonehead, deadhead, dimwit, dodo, dope, dummy, dunderhead, ninny, nitwit, numbskull, stupidhead, thickhead, and twit, who does not know how to cope with people like you.
05:20 August 15, 2011 by bells on the knight
belmar:

you have just opened your mouth and removed all doubts. quite clearly your brain is not working correctly. THE BELOW CITE IS YOUR PREVIOUS POST. i can challenge your intellect anytime at your convenience. just look at your pathetic website that's made for color blind pot smoking jamaicans.

"Finally, I am in agreement with you. But my description of their behaviour is almost 100% accurate. Believe me. I know 100% what I am talking about.

If that was not the point, then I misunderstood your meaning, but now I know that you are putting examples to challenge me. That is quite dangerous, believe me, quite dangerous."
00:35 August 16, 2011 by Catarin
There was a photo of Queen Silvia in last week's St. Paul Pioneer Press Mn wearing about the most beautiful hat I've ever seen. It was a gorgeous lavender hue matching her outfit, and I wanted it. The King and Queen are coming to Minnesota in a few months, and I look forward to seeing more of her hats. Bravo, Queen Sylvia!
20:46 August 17, 2011 by Thoddyt
Er, with all these condemnations, accusations and defenses flying around, has anyone actually bothered to check to see if there are any surviving Weschler relatives/descendants, in Brazil or elsewhere, who might be able to shed light on this situation?
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