När jag växte upp på 1970 talet pratade min mor en hel om denna man och vad han gjorde under sin livstid men om jag ska vara ärlig lyssnade inte så mycket på vad han exakt gjorde för Sverige och världen. Folke föddes i Stockholm 1898 och han var son till prins Oscar Bernadotte och hans hustru Ebba Munck af Fulkila samt kusin till Gustaf VI Adolf och efter hans skolgång i Stockholm 1915 så påbörjade han sin officersutbildning inom kavalleriet där han var verksam till 1932. Efter den militära karriären så började han vid hovet och 1934 vart han chef för hovstaten under Prins Gustaf Adolf där han fortsatte till 1940. Förutom att han var en hängiven tävlingsryttare så hade han ett stort intresse för scoutverksamheten där han var ordförande från 1937 samt simning och skytte var några andra av hans stora passioner i livet där han även innehade ordförande poster i simfrämjandet och skytteförbundet. 1943 fick han ta över vice ordförande skapet i det svenska röda korset men i verkligheten var det han som styrde eftersom ordföranden prins Carl var redan 82 år gammal.

Dom vita bussarna

Dom vita bussarna

Historien om vita bussarna som var en räddningsaktion ledd av Röda korsets ledare med Folke Bernadotte i spetsen kommer jag ihåg från min mormor som gärna berättade om denna händelse under andra världskrigets slut. Folke Bernadotte hade redan 1943 och 1944 organiserat krigsfångeutbyte med Tyskland där omkring 11 000 människor hade fått återvända hem från dom tyska lägren men aktionen med dom vita bussarna var något utöver det vanliga. Folke reste i februari 1945 till Tyskland för möten med Heinrich Himmler med uppdrag från den svenska regeringen att försöka få tillbaka norska, danska och svenska fångar som satt i koncentrationsläger och efter förhandlingar med tyskarna påbörjades en aktion med just dessa bussar. Sammanlagt var det runt 75 vitmålade bussar med röda kors målade på utsidan som begav sig ner till Tyskland mitt i krigets slutskede när dom allierade bombade landet för fullt. Styrkan med omkring 250 personer riskerade sina liv för att rädda dessa fångar men även kvinnor från andra europeiska länder lyckades han få med sig tillbaka till Sverige. Sammanlagt har det talats om att han var med och räddade omkring 8000 fångar och 7000 kvinnor under denna aktion och sammanlagt runt 20 000 människor totalt under krigets sista månader. Aktionen har i efterhand fått en hel del kritik eftersom vissa anser att räddningsaktionen inte tog med judar i transporterna med det finns uppgifter på att det fanns judar med och under kontroller från tyska soldater och SS män lyckades man muta dessa och släppa konvojen vidare till ett läger utanför Hamburg där man hade fått tillstånd att samla ihop alla dessa fångar. En annan del av kritiken består av att i lägret i Hamburg var det fullt och för att kunna inhysa dom norska och danska fångarna var man tvungna att föra ut fångar från andra nationer vilket inte anses ligga i paritet med Röda Korsets grunduppdrag som är att rädda alla människor.

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