Thursday, 20. June 2013 - 09:06
This newspaper is a time machine, locked in around the time of two World Wars, one World Cup and a lost age when it was permissible to poke fun at Germans.
Read more >>
01. 12. 10. - 11:00
SWEDEN’S royal family - recovering from revelations of the secret affair the king enjoyed with a pop singer - has been thrown into fresh turmoil over the Nazi past of the queen’s father.
Swedish TV4’s investigative programme Kalla fakta has broadcast the first of a two-part documentary detailing how Queen Silvia‘s late father grew rich producing armaments in a factory stolen from the Jews.
When she married in 1976 the Queen’s German father Walter Sommerlath denied he had ever been a member of the Nazi party. That fiction was exposed some years later by a Swedish newspaper which proved he joined the movement in 1934.
Earlier this year Queen Silvia spoke for the first time about it in a TV documentary in which she said he was not ``politically active´´ and that the factory he ran produced toy trains and hair dryers, as well as parts for gasmask for civilians. She said he did not take the factory over from Jewish owners.
Now the revelations about Sommerlath, who was living in Brazil at the time he joined the Nazis and only returned to Germany on the eve of war, have plunged the royals into a new crisis.
Swedish investigative journalist Bosse Schön says, “The truth about Queen Silvia’s father, which she doesn’t want to tell herself or her family, is that he joined Hitler’s Nazi party beginning on December 1st, 1934.
“Also, Queen Silvia’s father worked during his time in Brazil for the German company Acos-Burderus-do Brasil-Ltda, which used wartime prisoners as slave labour in Nazi Germany.”
Sommelath resettled in Berlin and on 24 May 1939 he took over the company Wechsler & Hennig. Documents found by Kalla fakta show that Sommerlath took over the firm from Efim Wechsler, a Jew, and that this was part of the so-called “Ayranisation“ of such enterprises according to the Nuremberg Laws which stripped Jews of their rights and property.
He bought it at a knock-down price, as was common at the time. Jews needed the money to try to escape from Germany.
The documents also show that his factory produced items which were used by the Luftwaffe - ack-ack guns - and also parts for tanks.
Her brother Ralf told the newspaper Expressen that the Queen is “terribly upset” and he calls the documentary “lies and slanders”. He fumed that if all Swedes are like Mats Deland, one of the three documentary makers, he will never again visit Sweden and will tell his sister to “come home.”
The queen’s attempts earlier this year to play down the Nazi past of her father have led to fierce criticism of her in the media now, both in Germany and Sweden.
She has refused all comment but a statement was issued by the palace ahead of part two of the documentary which runs on Sunday night this coming weekend.
“Concerning the discussions about Walther Sommerlath in the media, which deal with events which took place before the Queen was born, the Queen has no reason to comment on the content of the programme.
“Of course The Queen is sorry about her father becoming a member of the National Socialist Party in 1934. The Queen first got knowledge of his membership in adulthood, and she never had the opportunity to discuss this with her father."
Her husband King Carl XVI Gustaf was recently exposed in a book over a secret affair he had with a pop singer.
GRIN AND BEAR IT - Brown Bears At The Dentist
With toothache in choppers this size, these brown bears at a German wildlife park had every right to be a bit grizzly.
FORK THAT - Worker turns Fork Lift Into Jousting Lance
German police are investigating after a hyper market worker turned his forklift truck into a jousting device and attempted to spear a fellow worker after a row.
DIRTY THIRTY - Fake Euro Note Warning By Cops
A German corner shop owner saw some of his profits go up in smoke after he accepted payment for a pack of cigarettes with this non-existent 30 Euro note.
MURDER MYSTERY: Did Killer Confess in Novel?
Fugitive Norbert Wieland, 66, has been on the run since his girlfriend Bettina Polzer's body was found at her apartment in Furstenfeldbruck, Germany.
WHITE BLAM MAN - Brit Cheats Death By Seconds in Crane Smash
A British white van man cheated death by seconds in Germany when a falling 130 crane arm cut his truck in half.
UNTRUCKY BREAK: Thief Facing Justice
This smug looking truck thief will soon be facing justice - after speed cameras caught him fleeing the scene in Sarstedt, Germany.
NAZI SHOCK: Death Camp Victims Buried Beside SS Officers
Nazi death camp victims were secretly buried beside SS officers at a German World War II cemetery, outraged historians have revealed.
PICNIC BASKET BABY MURDERED - Baby abandoned in River Danube
A mother whose newborn baby boy was found dead in a picnic hamper with his throat cut is being quizzed by police in Regensburg, Germany.
WE ARE NOT EMU-SED - 7 Police Cars Chase Emu
Heavy handed cops gunned down a six foot tall emu after it escaped from an enclosure in Heimfeld, Germany.
BUNNY SPOILER: Bieber Playmate Demoted
A Playboy bunny girl who met teen sensation Justin Beiber privately at a hotel after a show has been disciplined by bosses in Cologne, Germany.
Top stories – last 7 days