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Walther Sommerlath: Wikis

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Carl August Walther Sommerlath (22 January 1901 - 21 October 1990), father of Queen Silvia of Sweden, was a German businessman, president of the Brazilian subsidiary of the Swedish steel-parts manufacturer Uddeholm Tooling after WW II.

Biography

He was born and raised in Heidelberg. Son of Louis Carl Moritz Sommerlath (Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, 2 January 1860 - Heidelberg, 21 March 1930), from an armed family of the German Bourgeoisie, and wife (married at Lewe, 6 October 1886) Erna Sophie Christine Waldau (Lewe, 21 February 1864 - Leipzig, 15 March 1944). In the mid 1920s, Walther Sommerlath moved to São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil where he worked for the steel company Acus Roechling Boulerus do Brasil, a subsidiary in the German steel group Roechling.

On 10 December 1925 he married Alice Soares de Toledo (São Manuel, São Paulo, 15 May 1906 - Heidelberg, 9 March 1997), in Santa Cecília, São Paulo. She was of Portuguese and remote Spanish descent, daughter of Arthur Floriano de Toledo (Porto Feliz, São Paulo, 1873 - São Paulo, São Paulo, 15 November 1935) and wife (married at São Manuel, São Paulo, 3 April 1900) Elisa de Novaes Soares (São José, São Paulo, 18 April 1881 - São Paulo, São Paulo, 26 February 1928).

In 1938, Walther Sommerlath left Brazil and returned to Heidelberg. In 1939 he moved to the German capital Berlin. Between 1939 and 1943, Sommerlath ran a company in Berlin that manufactured arms to be used in the War. In 1943, Sommerlath’s plant was destroyed by allied bombs. Later that year, the Sommerlath family returned to Heidelberg, and the same year, Silvia was born.

After the war, in 1947 the Sommerlath family returned to Brazil, where Walther Sommerlath worked as the president of the Brazilian subsidiary of the Swedish steel-parts manufacturer Uddeholm. The family finally moved back to Heidelberg in 1957. Walter Sommerlath died in Heidelberg in 1990.

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Membership of the Nazi Party

Not very much is publicly known about Sommerlath's Nazi affiliations. Living as a German citizen in São Paulo, Brazil, Sommerlath joined as an expatriate member the German National Socialist Worker's Party, NSDAP/AO on December 1, 1934, as member no. 3592030. His brother Paul Sommerlath had joined the Party in 1933. Most Germans in Brazil chose not to be members in the party. The Sommerlath brothers remained members of the Nazi party until the party was banned and dissolved by the allies in 1945.

In 1976, when Silvia was to marry King Carl Gustaf, the Swedish daily Expressen interviewed Sommerlath about his Nazi background. In the interview, Sommerlath denied that he had any connections with the Nazi Party, saying that his only part of the War was his work at the arms factory in Berlin.

The Royal Family of Sweden has denied to give out any information about the Queen's father's role in the war or the name and facts about his company.

References


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