May 17, 2011
Sweden’s Queen Silvia investigates father’s Nazi ties
Sweden’s Queen Sylvia ordered an investigation into her father’s links to the Nazis, according to reports.
The German-born queen “has taken the initiative to gather the facts concerning the activities of Walter Sommerlath in Brazil and Germany between 1930 and 1940,” the royal court said in a statement. The statement said that the entire Sommerlath family was on board for the investigation, which began several months ago, according to the French news organization AFP.
Walter Sommerlath died in 1990. He was a member of the Nazi party, though the queen said he was not politically active and joined the party to save his career.
Silvia Sommerlath met Carl XVI Gustaf, who became the King of Sweden, at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where she was working as an interpreter. They married in 1926.
A Swedish television station in November aired an investigation into Walter Sommerlath’s alleged Nazi past, reporting that he took over a Jewish-owned German factory in 1939, as part of a Nazi program of Aryanization. The queen issued a denial following the airing of the news program.