The Swedish queen has wrapped up an investigation into her father’s alleged Nazi past, concluding — perhaps a bit conveniently — that one of his 1939 business deals was helping, not exploiting, a desperate German Jew.
Rumors have long swirled about the history of German-born Queen Silvia, whose father, Walther Sommerlath, was said by some to have joined the Nazi party in 1934. The queen reacted angrily last year to the Swedish broadcast of a documentary about her father, which suggested that he had participated in Hitler’s so-called “Aryanization” of seized Jewish assets. She changed course in May, saying she would look into the allegations.
The results of her investigation, released today, suggest that her father acted nobly — at least in her interpretation. In findings released to the Swedish media, the queen says her father purchased a Berlin factory owned by a German Jew, Efim Wechsler, so that Wechsler could flee Germany for the safety of Brazil. The deal included giving Wechsler ownership of property, including a coffee plantation, owned by the Sommerlath family in Brazil.