Ikea to investigate allegations of forced labor

Ikea to investigate allegations of forced labor

The responsible ikea spokeswoman jeanette skjelmose told the dpa news agency on monday that ikea had already begun studying documents from the berlin authority.

The stasi documentation authority confirmed the request of the company. The documents had been made available to ikea in recent months, said press spokeswoman dagmar hovestadt in response to a dpa inquiry.

The ikea spokeswoman in almhult, sweden, stressed: "we take this matter extremely seriously."It is absolutely clear that the use of political prisoners as forced laborers would be "totally unacceptable" for ikea.

Ikea had had furniture manufactured in poland and in the GDR, among other places, since the 1960s. According to skjelmose, the allegations of forced labor of political prisoners refer to a period from the beginning to the middle of the 1980s. "So far it looks like no one at ikea knew about it," said the spokeswoman. Already in the past autumn after reports in german media with own investigations one began.

In the GDR, many prisoners also had to work for companies. The inmates often did not know to which companies their goods went and from which country the GDR had received the orders. Political prisoners who were serving time for "anti-state agitation" or "attempted escape from the republic" also had to do such work.