Crown Princess Victoria Asked About Family Past At Auschwitz Memorial

  January 28, 2015 at 8:57 pm by

While attending the official commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in Poland yesterday, Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria was asked a question which has led to public outcry.

View the full image at The Daily Mail

“Has the Crown Princess considered the family history?” asked SVT reporter Rolf Fredriksson, before clarifying the double-sided aspect of the question, “There were relatives further back who were sympathetic to the Nazis and then there was Folke Bernadotte who, with the white buses, saved people from the concentration camps.”

The reporter was referring to the Crown Princess’s maternal grandfather, Walther Sommerlath, who joined the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) in 1934 while living in Brazil. Upon his return to Germany in 1939, Sommerlath owned and ran an metal plant that had previously belonged to Jews.

Crown Princess Victoria calmly responded to the question without mention of her family: “Nazism is terrifying. It is one of humanity’s absolute worst periods. There is a long history and we have a lot of information and it is possible to take advantage of it if you wish.”

The outrage over the question, which has been condemned by numerous members of Swedish society, was only amplified by the fact that the Crown Princess was standing beside two elderly survivors of the Holocaust when it was asked.

“It’s disrespectful to the two survivors who stand next [to the Crown Princess] in the freezing cold,” Margareta Thorgren, the press officer of the Royal Court, said to Expressen. “The purpose of the question is questionable. It is completely the wrong time to set it at the Crown Princess, who has gone there to show how important she thinks this ceremony is.”

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2 Responses to Crown Princess Victoria Asked About Family Past At Auschwitz Memorial

  1. mslewis says:

    I see nothing wrong with asking the question. Her maternal grandfather was a member of a group that murdered Jews and her paternal grandfather SAVED many Jews. The reporter acknowledged both ancestors. The questions was legitimate. She should have answered it better.

  2. slhale says:

    The reporter asked a valid question and the Crown Princess’s attendance at the ceremony only emphasized the irony of the situation. On the one hand, she has a maternal grandfather who was a Nazi and obtained a business from Jews (definitely from coercion and more than likely for a pittance of the business’ true value). These are facts. The other fact is that her paternal grandfather worked to save some Jewish lives. Princess Victoria should have responded with in a mature manner and maintained her composure.

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