Ikea Founder Was Once a Nazi Enthusiast.
Brace yourself for literally the most exciting and scandalous thing that could ever possibly happen regarding a furniture store.
Respected Swedish journalist Elisabeth Asbrink, author of “And in Wienerwalkd the trees remain”, is coming forth with evidence that shows IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad was heavily involved with Nazism.
Kamprad has already admitted in the past to gathering support for Nazis in his youth but has since called it the “greatest mistake of his life”. Asbrink, however, maintains that he was not only an active recruiter for the fascist Sweden’s Socialist Union (SSS) party, but stayed close with Nazi sympathizers years after World War 2 ended.
In Kamprad’s 1988 autobiography, which must be a thrilling read, he explains that he was good friends with Per Engdahl, a well-known Swedish fascist activist and one of the leaders of the New Swedish Movement from 1942-1945. He also manages to make it seem as though these ties were not a large part of his life and that the friendship was cleanly severed once he came to his senses. Asbrink begs to differ, stating that she found files from the Swedish intelligence unit that inferred Kamprad had “some sort of official position within” the SSS. She even goes on to allege that a police file was established on Kamprad when he was only 17 years old in 1943, the same year he founded IKEA.
So he sugarcoated his bad behavior in his memoir. Asbrink, however, is obviously not one to let it go. She pursued this sheisty ex-Nazi furniture salesman and, in a what-do-you-have-to-hide fashion, asked the public, “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?”
My first guess would be that openly saying he hated Jewish people for a very long period of time in his life would be really, really bad for business. It’s pretty simple.
In a weird and completely counterproductive 2010 interview, Kamprad defended Per Engdahl to Asbrink, saying: “Per Engdahl a great man, and I will maintain that as long as I live.”
Pick a side, bro.
Reps for Kamprad say that “now there are no Nazi-sympathizing thoughts in Ingvar’s head whatsoever”. I’m assuming this is because they’ve obviously lost and many who were involved died anyway so there’s not a lot of people left to sympathize with.
In one last random turn of events, Asbrink also notes that Kamprad had a close friendship with a Jewish refugee who helped him develop the IKEA concept. She says they “became the closest friends.”
After all of this here’s my conclusion: Nazi founder or not, IKEA is still boring so I suggest you go to Bob’s Discount Furniture because 1) Bob is much happier, 2) he has no Nazi ties, and 3) he offers free unlimited candy in all of his stores.
Photo courtesy of Forbes
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