Kreuger is our largest room, you could even call it a ballroom, or a show room, or a yoga room, or concert room, or a fashion show room... Well you get it, it is a very large room with multiple uses.
The Kreuger brothers were huge stars of the financial world during their heyday. Today, it is difficult to comprehend the influence Torsten and Ivar had on the Swedish economy. Ivar’s life and career were especially dramatic, and parts of it seem to be taken out of an old-fashioned action movie, including the horrifying part when he, in 1932, was found shot to death in Paris. Still to this day there are speculations on whether it was suicide or if he was murdered. Why, for example, were the letters he left for his Swedish staff written in English? Theories about what actually happened to the world’s “Matchstick King” – the man that was so rich he lent his personal money to entire nations, France, Poland, Bolivia, and Turkey to mention a few; and who had 250 factories in over 43 countries – are flourishing on the Internet, and the subject is covered in several books.
Besides sharing an interest in business deals, Ivar, the eldest brother, and Torsten, one-time owner of Häringe, shared a deep interest in custommade motorboats and they kept many of their boats down by the jetty. The younger brother, Torsten, bought Häringe in 1929, and it was his tremendous curiosity in both fun and odd inventions that led to a number of modernizations at the palace. One of the more conventional efforts was an 18-mile-long fence that used to surround the estate. It was erected to keep the roe deer’s from leaving the grounds before the hunting season. The two-storey outdoor slide (later removed by Marguerite Wenner-Gren), mechanical bowling alley (the first of its kind in Sweden and still in use today), Sweden’s first outdoor pool, and a convenient underground passage that connected the main building with the wing allowing the ladies to avoid getting their hair wet when it rained, can be considered some of Torsten’s more unconventional endeavours.
Torsten also saw to it that the palace was renovated and the rooms were made bigger and brighter, which was much appreciated amongst the many guests who came for parties and business dinners where the staff would, sometimes, be serving cocktails completely naked. Although Torsten was married three times, he considered Häringe to be his very own playboy mansion, and his wife and children were never invited to visit the palace.
Before Torsten was sentenced to penal labour for fraud and false bookkeeping – in a trial that hindsight commonly deems an outrageous miscarriage of justice – he focused on the banking, industrial, and newspaper businesses. During his years at Häringe, Torsten owned three large newspapers in Stockholm: Aftonbladet, Stockholms Dagblad, and Stockholms-Tidningen. However, despite his efforts to use these media outlets to fight for his case, Torsten was never granted a second trial. After satisfying his penalty, Torsten decided to spend the last years of his life in Geneva. Regardless of his sometimes gloomy life, people who have met Torsten always speaks about what an extraordinary man he was.
Here you'll find the grand figure decoration in intarsia from the 30s that Kreuger had built for the Swedish Tobacco Monopoly's first boardroom at Maria Bangata in Stockholm. The piece was made by the artist Ewald Dahlskog and is well preserved to this day.