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March 7 in Swedish History

The von Sydow murders; at the time, in 1933, one of the most gruesome crimes in Swedish 20th century history.


March 7 in Swedish History
1932: Swedish politician Hjalmar von Sydow, his cook Karolina Herou and maid Ebba Hamn are found brutally murdered in von Sydow’s home at Norr Mälarstrand 24 in Stockholm. Suspicions lead police to von Sydow’s son Fredrik and his wife Ingun, who are found at the restaurant Gillet in Uppsala, where they commit suicide (Fredrik von Sydow kills first Ingun then himself) when police gets there.

The murders are later to be known in Sweden as the von Sydow murders, no motive for the killings is ever found, however it’s been said that Fredrik von Sydow was a drug addict and was suffering from bad finances.
Few crimes in Sweden have received more publicity than the von Sydow murders, which took place among Swedish upper-class people.

A play by author and playwright Sigrid Siwertz called “Ett brott” (A Crime) depicts the tragic events of the murders, and premiered at Lorensbergsteatern in Göteborg on October 13 in 1933, later to be directed at Dramaten in Stockholm by Alf Sjöberg in 1934. The author developed the drama further into a novel, which was released in 1938. A movie based on the book starring Edvin Adolphson and Karin Ekelund premiered in 1940 and became praised by Swedish critics because of its serious plot and good acting. The designer and author Helena Henschen (1940-2011), who was related to the von Sydow family through her mother released the book “I skuggan av ett brott” in 2004.


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