The Murder of Ivar Kreuger
The most Likely Course of Events

 
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Written by Stig Johansson


Miss Barrault and Kreuger’s secretary in Stockholm, Karin Bökman, leave the apartment. Kreuger has been drugged. At 10.45, he relates to Bökman, according to her own statement, that he had suddenly become „incredibly tired”. He goes and lies down on his bed in the bedroom. Just after 11 o’clock, when he had not yet fallen into deep sleep, a telegraph messenger rang the doorbell. He had to ring several times before Kreuger himself opened the door and uttered his last words: „Merci bien Lucien”.
     
The murderer, who probably is the Russian Leon Birthschansky or more probably a professional engaged by him, arrives. Out of a riding whip, he takes out a hidden stiletto and stabs it through the heart of his victim. With a gun he shoots a blank shot in the stab wound, as suicide is more easily done with a gun than with a pointed weapon. He produces a forged „farewell letter” but discovers the letter to Littorin. However, the real thing is safer than a forged, he reasons, and removes the documents, which act as a cover up. The forged letter he, of course, destroys later. In a meeting on the day before, Kreuger had done something that he later regretted and wanted to put right. But why should a couple of letters be returned to sender?
      
Almost exactly 24 hours earlier, which is revealed in a retrieved telex copy, through a telegram from Stockholm, FFR 16 000 (today worth about 400 000 SKr.) had been transferred to Birthschansky. Two years later the murderer was murdered - if it now was Birthschansky or a subordinate. Did he think that the compensation had been too niggardly and begun to exercise blackmail? In a facsimile reproduced letter from Oslo, March 30th 1934 (DSM 4/2000 p. 13), reads:  

Referring to our telephone conversation, on behalf of Bank Director Wallenberg, I would like to inform you that Broblewsky has now returned to his home district. No inconvenience has taken place, as B. himself is absent and the enquiry with K. over.                                                                                                              Yours Faithfully, Dardel.  

The autopsy requested by the family was stopped in Stockholm when the summoned doctor Erik Karlmark, spontaneously exclaims: „This is not suicide, it is murder!”. The autopsy requested by the family and also by the police doctor in Paris, requested that the autopsy was later cancelled. This decision was made by the County Governor, Nils Edén. Naturally the sleeping drug must not be detected. Nor that there was no bullet found in the body and that the „bullet wound” was a stab wound.
     
This was the murder scenario in short. If the alleged „facts” and „proof” hold for a neutral, critical examination, the mystery is solved: Kreuger was murdered. Disregarding the way of death, the posthumous reputation of Ivar Kreuger is also subject for new research. In 1961 Boris Michael Brennan (pseudonym) quoted the following letter, which Anders Jordahl, Kreuger’s close friend from 1902, wrote to his friend’s parents in June 1932:  

During many years of our close friendship with him, we have come to look upon him as the greatest and most wonderful human being we ever met. His superior intelligence, his powerful personality which also included profound human sympathy and friendliness, his loyalty to his friends, his sense of fair play and his absolute honesty in all business transactions I have known... During a whole lifetime of work with a great many people, I have never met anyone who has been so exceedingly honest and correct in all his connexions with other people, or so considerate and careful in respect to other people’s interest.  

All personal witnesses of this kind - and they are many - have sung the same appreciated phrases. A clear proof of confidence is Lee & Higginson’s willingness to lend Kreuger 11 million dollars when he was in a tight spot.
     
The vision of a Europe at peace, which Kreuger had adapted, sadly came to nought after his death. An Austrian corporal, by the name of Hitler had other ideas as to how the future of Europe should be formed - or perhaps more how the state of Germany after the crushing conditions of the Treaty of Versailles could be improved. Unfortunately, he was the one to live and make use of his methods and not Ivar Kreuger. And a worthy receiver of the Nobel Peace Prize, went to history instead as a swindler and common fraud.


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