IKEA and the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Truth Stranger Than Fiction
November 17, 2012

I am even more impressed by the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson when I read of this. I have not managed to find an exact reference, but those of you who have read the novels or seen the films will remember the character Wennerstrom, with his criminal activities in Eastern Europe. What follows is not, alas, fiction.

IKEA has apologised for using political prisoners and convicts, arrested by the Stasi in East Germany, as workers in its furniture factories in the ‘70s and ‘80s.  It was one among many manufacturers who used forced labour.

                                                                             Stasi Prison at Berlin

The apology follows on the publication yesterday of a report by Ernst & Young who examined 80,000 pieces of evidence from the German historical files and carried out approximately 90 interviews with IKEA employees, prisoners and witnesses.

Johan Stenebo, a former senior executive at the company, published a book, The Truth About Ikea, in 2010 which examined the practices of the company. In it he mentions the German links of of the founder, Ingvar Kamprad and of his father who is described as ‘a tough Nazi’

Spectabilis  16.11.2012

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