Bernadotte, Count Folke (1895-1948)

Grandson of King Oscar II of Sweden. A Swedish diplomat who towards the end of WW II, organized the ‘White Buses,’ ferrying close to fifteen thousand Scandinavian internees from German camps to Sweden, he received a number of surrender proposals from Himmler, submitted without Hitler’s knowledge, which he conveyed to Churchill, Truman, and Eisenhower and which were all turned down. In 1947, after a series of United Nations Palestine partition proposals he was appointed UN mediator for Palestine. In the midst of the Arab-Israeli war he negotiated a cease-fire intending to use some of the existing boundaries as a foundation for a permanent settlement of territories. Bernadotte submitted a number of proposals in secret sessions to the American the British and the Russian UN Security Council members. The Israeli government strongly criticized and objected to the spirit and content of the proposals and found them biased. In September 1948, LEHI members of the so called Stern-gang ambushed Bernadotte’s car in the Katamon section of Jerusalem and shot him at point blank range. The assassination was approved by the LEHI leadership of Yitzhak Shamir, Nathan Yellin-Mor and Israel Sheib-Eldad. The government reacted by disarming the LEHI and arresting its leadership and many of its members. Count Bernadotte succumbed to his wounds at the Hadassah hospital, at age fifty-three.

 

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