King Gustaf V born 16 June 1858 (d. 1950)
Gustaf V (Oscar Gustaf Adolf) was King of Sweden from 1907 until his death. He was the eldest son of King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway and Sophia of Nassau.
Gustaf V was born in Drottningholm Palace and at birth was created Duke of Värmland. On December 8, 1907 he succeeded his father on the Swedish throne, which had been separated from the Norwegian throne two years earlier.
Gustaf V was the last Swedish king to intervene directly in the politics of the country, in 1914 on the disputes over defence budgets. He was a conservative man, who did not approve of the democratic movement and the demands for workers' rights. Gustaf V was also the last Swedish king to be Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces (between 1907 and 1939).
Gustaf V was considered to have German sympathies during World War I. His political stance during WWI was highly influenced by his domineering wife, who felt a strong connection to her German homeland. On the 18th December 1914 he sponsored a meeting with the other two kings of Scandinavia to demonstrate unity within and between the Scandinavian countries. Another of Gustaf V's objectives with this, three-king conference was to dispell suspicions that he wanted to bring Sweden into the war on Germany´s side.
Both the king and his grandson Prince Gustaf Adolf, had socialised with certain Nazis leaders before World War II, though arguably for diplomatic purposes. Gustaf V attempted to convince Hitler during a visit to Berlin to soften his persecution of the Jews, according to historian Jörgen Weibull. He was also noted for appealing to the leader of Hungary to save its Jews "in the name of humanity." At the behest of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gustaf V appealed to Hitler for peace negotiations in 1938, "in the interest of peace".
Gustaf V was also a devoted tennis player, appearing under the pseudonym Mr G. As a player and promotor of the sport, Gustaf was elected in to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980. Gustaf learned the sport during a visit in Britain in 1876 and founded Sweden's first tennis club on his return home. In 1936 he founded the King's Club. During his reign, Gustaf was often seen playing on the Riviera. During a visit in Berlin, Gustaf went straight from a meeting with Hitler to a tennis match with the Jewish player Daniel Prenn.
All very interesting but what is he doing here? The answer to that is the Haijby Affair...
The Haijby affair was a political scandal in Sweden in the 1950s, involving the conviction and imprisonment of Kurt Haijby, a petty criminal who had been blackmailing the royal court.
Haijby was born in 1897 as Kurt Johansson. In 1912 he and another boy scout were granted an audience with King Gustaf V. When Johansson grew older he lived a life in crime and was convicted several times for theft and fraud. While trying to escape prison he shot a police officer dead. After being released he changed his name and tried to open a restaurant. As he was a convicted criminal he could not get a licence to sell liquor. He then applied to the king and was granted a second audience in 1932 to put forward his case. This did not help. Instead Haijby started blackmailing the royal court, claiming that he had been seduced by the king in 1912 and that they had resumed a sexual relationship in 1932.
Haijby claimed that he had been a lover of the king in the years between 1936 and 1947. The court paid Haijby 170.000 Swedish kronor for his silence. However, in 1938 Haijby was arrested for pedophilia and put in custody at the asylum of Beckomberga. The royal court then approached him and offered 400 kronor a month if he left the country and kept quiet about his accusations. Haijby accepted the deal.
Breaching the agreement, Haijby returned to Sweden in 1940 and in 1947 published a roman à clef. The entire first printing was then bought by the court and destroyed. But the cover-up effort proved to be in vain. The novel was reprinted and distributed twice, in 1952 and 1979.
Haijby was pronounced insane and sent to an asylum.
In the meantime, another scandal, the Kejne affair, had broken in the press where Vilhelm Moberg was busy writing lengthy articles about homosexual conspiracies among the Swedish officials.
Haijby reported his forced detention in the asylum at Beckomberga to the Attorney General of Sweden. These papers were smuggled out of the Attorney General's office by Vilhelm Moberg, and the whole affair thus came to public attention. The actions of officials to suppress the claims caused acrimonious debate in parliament and the media. As a consequence, the court was forced to charge Haijby for acts of blackmail.
In 1952 Haijby was sentenced to eight years hard labour for blackmail, which in 1953 was lowered to six years by a court of appeals. Haijby committed suicide in 1965.
Haijby had reported the treatment he had received to the Swedish Chancellor of Justice. The results of the investigations, the bulk of which were classified until 1981, acquitted to Royalty. It did state that it was not impossible for the incident to have taken place, but that it could not have occurred in the way described by Haijby — at none of the two audiences was Haijby ever alone with the king, and the other boy scout stated that nothing strange happened at the audience in 1912.
However, the fact that the Swedish court was prepared to pay Haijby such large sums to suppress his accusations has by some been taken as evidence that they were either fundamentally true, or if not, that they were suppressed so as not to expose rumours of Gustaf V's homosexuality.
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