During a couple of dramatic weeks in August 1939, the Swedish businessman Birger Dahlerus flew in shuttle service between Berlin and London. The self-imposed mission: to try to stop World War II. When peace came, six years later, Dahlerus published a book in which he gave his version of his actions before the outbreak of war. Then in 1946 he was called to Nuremberg – as a defense witness for Göring!
The news received great attention worldwide but then fell into oblivion. Now, when previously closed European archives have been opened, the complete story can finally told – and more fully than the picture Dahlerus himself wanted to paint, in the book he published himself in 1945. In fact, Dahlerus emerges as a pawn in the Nazis’ game with the Western allies, one who even made the Swedish government want to take over northern Norway after the German attack in 1940. It was he who also brought forward the demands for German troop transports through Sweden in 1941.
Johan Jakobsson’s newly written biography also shows how Birger Dahlerus’ company Bolinders profited from business with Nazi Germany – only to later collapse when the war was over. The author has unearthed new information from previously classified archives in Great Britain, Germany, the USA and Sweden. In his book, he paints the picture of how things can go wrong when people from the corporate world meet politicians. They can have such a hard time understanding each other. It’s so easy to be naive.
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About the author
For over 30 yeras, Johan Jakobsson has worked in the borderland between politics and business. In the 2000s he was party secretary, in the 2010s he founded a public affairs agency, and at the beginning of the 2020s he was head of communication and opinion formation at the organization Svenskt Näringsliv. In 2022, the government appointed him state secretary to Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.