• Sweden's news in English

Ingmar Bergman 'switched at birth': report

The Local/dl · 26 May 2011, 00:00

Published: 26 May 2011 09:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 May 2011 00:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

DNA analysis carried out by Sweden's National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) shows that Bergman and his mother, Karin Bergman, are not biologically related, the Dagens Nyhter (DN) newspaper reports.

The revelations, published in a new book by Bergman's niece Veronica Ralston, stem from an investigation she carried out after reading a book by author Louise Tillberg published last year which Tillberg argued that her father and uncle were siblings of Ingmar Bergman born to Hedvig Tillberg (nee Sjöberg).

"I contacted the board of forensic medicine to see if it was possible to perform a DNA analysis to clarify this," Ralston told DN.

"I suggested that they could use stamps which Ingmar Bergman had licked and sent on letters and postcards to his parents and compare them with my DNA."

Following the analysis, the agency informed Ralston, the biological granddaughter of Karin Bergman, that she and her famous film director uncle were not biologically related.

Ralston's sensational findings are presented in "Kärleksbarnet och bort­bytingen" ('The love child and the changeling'), in which the author also attempts to offer an explanation for what happened.

"When my grandmother Karin Berman gave birth to her son on July 14th, 1918, she had been very sick for a long period of time and it's possible the baby didn't survive," according to Ralston.

Story continues below…

"But I haven't checked with the hospital in Uppsala if there are any records of a stillborn baby, so that is just speculation. But I think that is exactly what happened and that her husband Erik then switched the child with a baby that Hedvig Sjöberg had previously given birth to in Stockholm."

Editors Note: In a previous version of this article, Bergman's niece, Veronica Ralston was erroneously referred to as his granddaughter.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:17 May 26, 2011 by johnny1939
....and what difference does this make to anything????
11:30 May 26, 2011 by adiou
Proofread much? Get it together guys.
11:54 May 26, 2011 by darky
Is this any news?
12:34 May 26, 2011 by foxpur
What it means: Ingmar Bergman is a major historical figure and one of Swedens most proud achievers. To find such a change that affects his future ascendants and may even have legal effects is, by Swedish Definition, very high news.

Just because something isn't of interest to YOU personally, doesn't negate the fact that it is News.

As for proofreading... although that IS a good trait for a news publication, the act of getting the news out is often a higher need that extended proofing (this has been the case of News issues for several hundred years)
12:58 May 26, 2011 by mahanks
Let the old man be, he has enough issues to deal with already. Its not safe down under and therefore the so called forensic findings cant make things any better for his soul
14:48 May 26, 2011 by helveeta
I think this is very big news, not just in Sweden! Whoever is saying it's not is not interested in film obviously. I want to know more, this article, as usual on The Local, doesn't seem to give enough facts or information on its subject. I wonder if he would have become a brilliant filmmaker had he grew up with his real family? Change one thing you change everything.
16:12 May 26, 2011 by Tanskalainen
The idea that he was switched with stillborn is just speculation. The situation may have been a simple case of a nurse putting the wrong baby in the wrong crib. Nurses are human and sometimes they make mistakes.
16:26 May 26, 2011 by eltechno
A man works very hard and leaves behind a body of work that is widely accessible to the whole world. Thousands of hours of creative genius on display and we are supposed to be worried about his DNA? Are you serious!?
16:55 May 26, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
What many still do not know, is that Veronica Ralston is about to conduct a new investigation. This time she will request a DNA on Bergman's plays because she is completely sure they were written by Stieg Larsson when he was at Dagis.
21:27 May 26, 2011 by Andriano
FOREVER Ingmar Bergman , this is not a news... He belongs to all people on the world...
01:43 May 27, 2011 by Luke R D
LOVE how these sorts of "amazing" findings often happen after the person has died...makes things very convenient for the niece/nephew/brother/sister/kind stranger. All we can do is have a chuckle.
01:55 May 27, 2011 by johnny1939
Maybe the maid licked the stamp? Not much DNA evidence one way or the other. Who cares his work speaks for itself regardless who was the mummy.
14:43 May 27, 2011 by munched
I don't know.. he always looked kind of arabic to me. Bet THAT would make a difference to swedes.
16:12 May 27, 2011 by infidel2012
Looks like somebody's gonna get some extra money.

Goes to show, if one does enough digging, they're bound to find a treasure : )
23:34 May 27, 2011 by helveeta
@munched STFU. Spend your time educating yourself or learning manners instead of whining. Contribute something to the world, volunteer, take a shower, etc.
18:25 May 28, 2011 by philster61
Who was he switched with? Stephen Spielberg???
18:31 May 31, 2011 by Mark S.
From the evidence presented in this article, it could have been Ralston who was switched.
06:00 June 6, 2011 by daeviydt
I have a few questions and concerns.

First, it seems that his niece is just looking for an easy way to make a name for herself. The other family, Sjoberg, was just looking to share in the limelight of his achievements for purposes of validation, perhaps, not for purposes of financial gain. His niece, however -- was it absolutely necessary to write a book?

I am a huge fan of Bergman, and have watched all of the documentaries. He was a very sad old man, filled with dread and regret, I wish so bad that I could have somehow provided him with comfort. And maybe this news would have comforted him, he seems to feel as if he was insufficient compared to his father, because he told a few lies as a child.

His father was a priest, no? is there any proof that his father is actually his father, or perhaps maybe his father had an affair with a woman other than his wife, and she gave the infant to the man she loved when his legal wife lost their own child? I don't believe this is necessary, because many poor people would give away their child if they had no chance to provide with it, and who better than a priest to bring it up.

If his father were guilty of infidelity, then perhaps Bergman really wasn't so different from his father, and it was extremely unfortunate that he spent his latter years torturing himself?

I don't know, I am disturbed by this whole issue. If you've ever seen the documentary "Richter: The Enigma" I find a similar situation -- one of the most unbelievably talented geniuses, who is unbelievably hard on himself. Because if these two men aren't happy, then what chance does someone like me ever have?
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available