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Count Folke Bernadotte
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Diplomat
    (January 2, 1895-September 17, 1948)
    Born in Stockholm, Sweden
    Count of Wisborg
    Nephew of Sweden's King Gustav V
    Director of the Swedish Boy Scouts (1937)
    Vice-Chairman of the Swedish Red Cross (1943)
    Named UN Security Council mediator for the Israeli-Arab conflict (1947)
    Assassinated in his car by members of the Zionist Stern Group
    Growing up, he was forced to be part of his mother's sewing circle.
    Before his marriage, he had a daughter out of wedlock with a Swedish actress.
    He was the conduit for a proposal by Heinrich Himmler under which Nazi Germany would surrender to the US and Britain but be allowed to continue to fight against the Soviet Union (1945).
    Before his final trip, he rejected an aide's suggestion that they take a detour to avoid snipers.
    The Stern Group assassinated Bernadotte to keep the Israeli government from accepting his peace proposal which they opposed, but unknown to them, the Israeli leadership had already agreed to reject the plan.
    He was Sweden's representative at the World's Fairs in Chicago (1933) and New York City (1939).
    He organized the White Buses convoys that rescued 31,000 people (including 10,000 Jews) from German concentration camps to Swedish hospitals (1945).
    His car was accidentally straffed by Allied planes while he was accompanying one convoy.
    He told the aide who suggested the detour, 'I must take the same risks as my observers.'
    Five decades after the assassination, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres expressed 'regret that Bernadotte was murdered in a terrorist way.' (1995)

Credit: C. Fishel


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