Ingvar Kamprad, the billionaire founder of Swedish homeware company Ikea, is facing new allegations about his role in Nazi past due to a new book, reports the BBC.Kamprad had already admitted some elements of his Nazi past in 1988, admitting he was a close friend of the Swedish fascist activist Per Engdahl, and a member of his fascist New Swedish Movement between 1942 and 1945.
However new details allege that not only was an active recruiter for the fascist Sweden’s Socialist Union (SSS), he maintained close ties to the far right after the end of the War.
The allegations have come to light in a book by journalist Swedish journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink, who found files from the Swedish intelligence unit that concluded that Kamprad must have “some sort of official position within” the SSS, reports The Telegraph, and that he was recruiting new members.
Åsbrink says that Kamprad has been hiding these ties:
“He said in 1998 that he would get everything up on the table and that there would be nothing hidden. Why then didn’t he tell us that he was a member of the worst Nazi party, and that the police found it serious enough to create a file on him?
She also says that Kamprad’s links to Engdahl remained strong after the war — he invited the fascist to his wedding in 1950, writing he was proud that the two belonged to the same circle. Even in 2010, when interviewed by Åsbrink, Kamprad refused to denounce the far right leader.
“Per Engdahl is a great man, and I will maintain that as long as I live,” he said.
Kamprad had previously called his links to the Far Right “stupidity”, and the “greatest mistake” of his life.
However, if the new allegations were true, its becomes harder to argue that Kamprad was not a full part of the Nazi movement.
Kamprad began creating the Ikea empire when he was just 16. Last year his wealth was estimated at $23 billion.