Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Revelations on IKEA Founder's Nazi Past

In some European countries you never know who was a Nazi sympathizer

In the U.S., the worst that can happen to a successful person who is seriously resolved to living their life on the straight and narrow, is that maybe something not very nice from their past will surface in the mass media.

Usually, it's some sort of crime, theft, perhaps, or a divorce or stint in rehab. But as long as it isn't something like pedophilia or murder, Americans can be very forgiving when skeletons occasionally pop out of the closet.

Not so in Europe, where some skeletons that pop out of the closet were also worn on the uniforms of a dead regime to which, God help these older Europeans if they once belonged.

From the article New revelations on IKEA founder´s Nazi past in the Stockholm News:

This new fact is told in the book "Och i Wienerwald står träden kvar" (And in Wienerwald the trees remain) by the author Elisabeth Åsbrink, who also reveals additional facts about Kamprad's Nazi connections.

"It's a bit odd that Ingvar Kamprad has not himself been open about this. He has earlier said that he wants to speak on the matter and that he wants to apologize," says Elisabeth Åsbrink to the public broadcaster SVT.

Her book portrays the life of Otto Ullmann, who from Vienna came to Sweden with a transport of Jewish children, and was placed with the family Kamprad. There he became friends with the son in the house - Ingvar Kamprad - who was active in the far-right "Nysvenska rörelsen" (New Swedish Movement) and for a time also was highly active in the purely Nazi party "Svensk socialistisk samling" (Swedish Socialist Unity).

It is in this context that Elisabeth Åsbrink uncovers new and previously unknown facts about Kamprad's Nazi connections.

She describes how Kamprad's contacts with the New Swedish Movement and their leader Per Engdahl was not a temporary ‘teenage confusion’ during the years of Nazi victories, but that the relationship continued long after the war and Hitler's defeat, even when the full width of the Holocaust had became known to the world.

Per Engdahl was a guest at Kamprad’s wedding in 1950 and Kamprad wrote in a letter to Engdahl about how he was "proud to be part of the New Swedish circle."

At the same time, the Jewish refugee Otto Ullmann in those years was one of his closest friends and helped him to build the future global home products company IKEA.

Read rest New revelations

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