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Tags: john f kennedy | love letters | gunilla von post | auction

John F. Kennedy's Letters to Swedish Lover up for Auction

john f kennedy signs order in oval office
Then-President John Fitzgerald Kennedy signs the order of naval blockade of Cuba, on Oc. 24, 1962, in White House, Washington D.C. (AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 May 2021 11:47 AM

Three letters that John F. Kennedy wrote to his Swedish lover while married to Jackie Kennedy are being sold by a Boston auction house. 

The former president and Gunilla von Post met in 1953, weeks before Kennedy married Jackie, and spent one romantic week together two years later in Sweden. The details of their love affair are revealed in the three letters written in the months leading up to that week, and the years that followed. 

The first partial letter was written in 1955 on paper bearing the U.S. Senate letterhead. In the note, the then-Massachusetts senator plans his trip to Sweden to see von Post. 

"It now appears that Congress will not finish until the 5th of August — so I sail on the 'United States' which arrives the 10th of August at Le Havre — and I shall be in Sweden on the 12th," he wrote, according to RR Auction. "Where do I go. Send me your address at Bastaad where you shall be."

In the second partial note, Kennedy wonders how the pair will get along after months of not seeing one another.

"I am anxious to see you. Is it not strange after all these months? Perhaps at first it shall be a little difficult as we shall be strangers — but not strangers — and I am sure it will all work and I shall think that though it is a long way to Gunilla — it is worth it," he wrote.

In a 1997 memoir, von Post explained that their relationship never evolved despite Kennedy's attempts to end his marriage and bring her to the U.S. Instead, their plans were "thwarted" by Kennedy's father, "his political ambitions," as well as Kennedy and von Post's "mutual sensitivity to the miscarriage suffered by Jacqueline in 1955 and her new pregnancy in 1956," the auction house noted.

The third letter, which was written in 1956, documents the end of their relationship. 

"Many thanks for your letter. I must say I was sad to learn that, after all, you are not coming to the U.S. and you are marrying a farmer," Kennedy wrote, adding that he had planned to visit von Post in Sweden again and wondered what would happen next.

"If you don't marry come over as I should like to see you. I had a wonderful time last summer with you. It is a bright memory of my life — you are wonderful and I miss you," he wrote.

Von Post and Kennedy only ever saw each other one last time, by chance, at the Waldorf Astoria in 1958. Von Post was pregnant with her first child. Her husband died in 1960 and Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. The "pretty revealing" letters, which document the rise and fall of their relationship, could sell for $30,000 or higher, Bobby Livingston, the executive vice president of RR Auction, told People

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TheWire
Three letters that John F. Kennedy wrote to his Swedish lover while married to Jackie Kennedy are being sold by a Boston auction house. The former president and Gunilla von Post met in 1953, weeks before Kennedy married Jackie...
john f kennedy, love letters, gunilla von post, auction
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2021-47-05
Wednesday, 05 May 2021 11:47 AM
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