An investigation into rumours about the role of the late father of Sweden’s Queen Silvia in Nazi Germany has been branded a whitewash by Holocaust survivors.
The report, which was commissioned by the queen, concluded that instead of taking a factory from Jewish businessman Efim Wechsler in Germany, Walter Sommerlath had in fact helped him flee the country.
The allegations were first broadcast on TV4 last year, suggesting that Mr Sommerlath had taken advantage of Wechsler in 1939. But the report, which was compiled by WWII expert Erik Norberg, concluded that Wechsler had in fact traded his German factory with Sommerlath for a coffee plantation in Brazil.
The paper, however, lacks credibility and is “self-serving”, according to the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants. “The report was not an independent inquiry – it was commissioned by the queen with the participation of her cousin, a Brazilian lawyer,” the organisation said in a statement to the Associated Press. “Such a probe can only raise suspicions of a whitewash,” it added.
Queen Silvia has previously faced criticism for not addressing the rumours about her father’s role in WWII.
In 1920, he is known to have travelled to Brazil where he met and married her mother Alice, whose family owned a coffee plantation.