“I myself have been criticized because, during the last war, as one of the leaders of the Swedish Red Cross, I did not publicly denounce Nazism and its methods.” So wrote Count Folke Bernadotte at the end of this book, which he completed writing just a few weeks before his brutal murder in Jerusalem at the ends of terrorists from the Stern Gang.
The book covers the period between his role in 1945 negotiating with Himmler and the Nazi leadership to get Scandinavian citizens out of concentration camps to safety in Sweden, and his short period as UN Peace Mediator in Palestine.
Those who killed Bernadotte considered him to be an enemy of the Jewish people. Though they almost certainly had not read this manuscript, there are in these pages some sentences that might raise eyebrows.
Here, for example, is what Bernadotte had to say about the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal: “It is really just to condemn collectively all the members of a given organization? Is it absolutely certain that all those who have joined, for example, the SS, are guilty of a crime?” The short answer is, yes.
This is an extraordinary historical document and helps shed light on a man who was both revered and hated in his lifetime — and for years afterwards.