IKEA founder had Nazi Youth ties for years, author claims

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The Independent Online

A new book has claimed that the founder of the IKEA chain, Ingvar Kamprad, had youth ties with Nazi groups for longer than he admitted, saying Sweden's intelligence agency even set up a special file on him.

Elisabeth Asbrink, a respected Swedish author and journalist, claims that Mr Kamprad joined the Swedish Nazi party in 1943 when he was 17, prompting the security police to set up a file on him the same year. Ms Asbrink also claims in her book, And in Wienerwald the Trees Remain, that he was in contact with Nazi sympathisers until at least 1950, two years longer than Mr Kamprad had acknowledged.

Per Heggenes, a spokesman for IKEA, said that Mr Kamprad regards his Nazi involvement as the "biggest mistake" of his life. "There are no Nazi-sympathising thoughts in Ingvar's head whatsoever," Mr Heggenes said.

The Swedish intelligence service refused referred calls about the documents to the national archives. Calls to the archives went unanswered.