Swedish-German group accused of whitewashing Nazi past

By Nathalie Rothschild, April 11, 2014

The Swedish-German Association, of which Sweden’s Queen Silvia has been a patron since the 1980s, has been accused of whitewashing its Nazi past.

The association allowed its previous chairman, Gunnar Edlund, 83, to write a chapter in its 100th jubilee book, despite his ties to the far-right.

Academics told a Swedish investigative documentary team that Edlund had omitted details about the association’s ties to the Nazis during the war.

Posing as a student, a reporter recorded Edlund saying: “Every individual, including Hitler, should be judged according to their faults and their virtues and not as an evil monster.”

The association said it “denounces the values which characterise Nazism and other violent ideologies”.

Willy Silberstein, chairman of the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism, demanded that the Queen reconsider her patronage. A statement from the Royal Court said: “The Queen supports all humans’ equal worth and rights and strongly distances herself from xenophobia. If it turns out that the statutes of an association of which the Queen is a patron are not reconcilable with the Queen’s values, there is reason to reconsider the patronage.”

Last updated: 11:26am, April 11 2014