Just weeks after the secret sex life of Sweden’s king was exposed in a new book, the reputation of the royal family has been rocked again by allegations that the Queen’s father has a hidden Nazi past. According to an investigative television documentary, Queen Silvia’s late father, Walther Sommerlath, was a Nazi party member who grew rich during the war by running an armaments factory that was stolen from its Jewish owners.
The revelations, made in the Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts) TV programme, contradicts claims made by the German-born queen earlier this year that her father’s factory produced hairdryers and toy trains and was not taken over from Jewish owners. The 67-year-old monarch also denied that her father was “politically active”.
Documents unearthed in Berlin and South America by the Kalla Facta team, seem to show that Mr Sommerlath joined the Nazi party in Brazil in 1934 – a year after Hitler took power. He then apparently returned to Germany in 1939, shortly before WWII broke out, and took over the Jewish-owned factory. The documentary alleged that the plant produced items that were vital to the Nazi effort, such as anti-aircraft guns and tank parts.
Queen Silvia’s brother Ralf dismissed the documentary’s claims as “lies and slander”, adding that his sister was “terribly upset” by the programme. A statement released by Sweden’s royal palace said: “The Queen has no reason to comment on the content of the programme,” adding, “Of course, the Queen is sorry about her father becoming a member of the Nazi party. She first knew about his membership in adulthood. She never had the opportunity to discuss this with her father.”
Only last month, the Swedish royal family received the first blow to its reputation of moral respectability when a book entitled The Reluctant Monarch exposed the wild antics of Queen Silvia’s 64-year-old husband, King Carl Gustav. The king has reluctantly admitted most of the revelations, including spending thousands on strippers and attending wild sex parties in his youth.