Queen Silvia gives ‘final word’ on dad’s Nazi past

Sweden’s Queen Silvia appeared in a new video released on Thursday in which she offers her final comments on the investigation into her father’s alleged Nazi connections.

Queen Silvia gives 'final word' on dad's Nazi past

The Queen launched her own probe into her father’s alleged Nazi ties after a slew of reports claimed that Sommerlath, who died in 1990, had joined the Nazi party in 1934.

In 2009, TV4 investigative news programme Kalla Fakta (The Cold Facts) also reported a widely rumoured story that, upon his return from Brazil as part of the so-called Aryanisation of Jewish assets in Germany in 1939, Sommerlath took over a factory which was owned by prominent Jewish businessman Efim Wechsler.

Sommerlath reportedly took over a Berlin factory from Wechsler in return for a Brazilian coffee plantation and land in 1939, a trade that facilitated Wechsler’s emigration to Brazil from Nazi Germany.

Sommerlath, however, denied his involvement with the Nazi Party until his death.

After an investigation continued over the next two years, the queen on Thursday put the case to rest in a six minute video published on the website of the Royal Court website, together with the publication of recently discovered documents on the case.

“I am relieved that I have now brought these hidden documents about my father and Efin’s fate to the light,” Queen Sylvia said in the video.

“Perhaps many have wondered why I haven’t answered questions about my father before. It wasn’t only sensitive work but it was hard to handle. It takes time. And it’s perhaps not so easy to always do so in the public eye.”

The investigation was mostly carried out by Erik Norberg, a history scholar and the secretary of the The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities (Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien), the board of which includes the king, the queen, and Crown Princess Victoria as honourary members.

Norberg published the findings in a book, The Forgotten Documents – The Story of Walther Sommerlath and Efim Wechsler.

Royal Court spokesman Bertil Ternert explained that Thursday’s video marked the queen’s final comments on the matter.

“What the queen wants to say is that now everything has been done in order to find the documents about these family histories,” he told the TT news agency.

The queen has also written a new forward and afterward to Norbergs book herself, Ternert added.

TT/The Local/og

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‘It could be lonely,’ says Queen of first year in Sweden

Sweden's Brazilian-German Queen Silvia has spoken candidly in a new book about Sweden and her loneliness in the Royal Palace during the first year of her marriage to King Carl XVI Gustaf 40 years ago.

'It could be lonely,' says Queen of first year in Sweden
Queen Silvia with Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Sofia at an exhibition on Royal bridal gowns in Stockholm. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Silvia Sommerlath and then Crown Prince Carl Gustaf met at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Four years later they married in Stockholm and the trained interpreter became Queen of Sweden.

“But Sweden was not foreign to me. My father had worked for the Swedish forestry and steel company Uddeholm in Brazil. Many Swedes therefore came to Brazil and to our home. They brought herring. And books and music,” she tells a new book released today.

The Queen, who was at the time still learning Swedish, tells the book's author, Maria Gunnarsson, of her slight feeling of intimidation arriving in Sweden, to a male-dominated and conservative Royal Palace.

“But everybody had kind intentions. Everyone wanted to support me and was there. And the King was wonderful, he said: 'Say what you think, explain what you want, say what you're going to do'. He has really supported me,” the Expressen tabloid quotes her as saying in the interview.

“But it could be lonely. The King's mother Princess Sibylla was no longer alive. Nor was Queen Louise there to tell me about the tasks of a Queen. But Princess Christina was there. The King's sister has given me a lot of support,” says Silvia.

The interview was carried out at Solliden Palace – the Royal Family's summer residence on Öland – in May this year. It is part of the 39th edition of the annual book 'The Royal Year' ('Det kungliga året') which is released on Tuesday.