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the White Buses

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In February 1945, Count Folke Bernadotte went to Germany to negotiate with SS Reichsführer Himmler, who was in charge of all the concentration camps, the release of the Scandinavian prisoners in the camps.

In due course, the negotiations started to be successful and the Swedes organized a substantial rescue organization. Red Cross in close cooperation with the Swedish Defense, which provided staff and vehicles such as buses and trucks, supervised the operation.

In the beginning of March 1945, the first buses boarded a ferry from Malmö to Copenhagen. The buses were painted with camouflage colors, and marked with red crosses and Swedish flags on the sides and roofs. But then an order came from the allies that the buses had to be painted white, so they could distinguish them from enemy vehicles. When the order came, there were already a few buses aboard the ferry bound for Copenhagen.


Ravensbrück, the camp
the White Buses
reception in Sweden
collecting artifacts

the artifacts