The Swedish Red Cross White Bus Rescue Action

Swedish Red Cross White Bus Rescue Action


The Swedish Red Cross White Bus Rescue Action was a mission undertaken by the Swedish Red Cross and the Danish government to rescue prisoners of Nazi concentration camps in the last months of World War II. Count Folke Bernadotte (co-chairman of the Swedish Red Cross) engaged in a series of clandestine meetings with Heinrich Himmler (overseer of the concentration camps and head of the SS and Gestapo) to negotiate the release of more prisoners over the course of the rescue action. The operation convened drivers and nurses, as well as 36 buses, at Malmö Castle. The operation launched on March 9, 1945. The buses were painted white and tagged with a red cross on top to signal their purpose to Allied forces.

Initially intended to rescue only Scandinavians, the White Buses ultimately liberated 15,500 Holocaust victims of over twenty different nationalities in 54 days. We honor these heroes!

Take a Deep Dive: The Liberation of Ravensbrück Exhibit


The curators of To Life:

Melissa Minds VandeBurgt - Head of Archives, Special Collections, & Digital Initiatives

Bailey Rodgers - Archives Specialist I, Graduate Student - History

Abigial Winslow - Archival Assistant, Graduate Student - History

Kinsey Brown - Archival Assistant, Graduate Student - English

Jordan Curtis - Archival Assistant, Alumna 2019

Adrian Sanchez - Archival Assistant, Alumnus 2018

Carey Walker - Intern, Graduate Student - History




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