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Bernadotte, Folke, Count

(1895—1948) Count, Swedish statesman

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(b. 2 Jan. 1895, d. 17 Sept. 1948).

Swedish international mediator Born in Stockholm, the nephew of King Gustav V of Sweden, he was involved in work for humanitarian causes for most of his life, particularly on behalf of the Red Cross. During World War II, he managed to establish good contacts with Himmler. This enabled him to save around 30,000 people (among them around 20,000 Scandinavians) from Nazi concentration camps. In return, he was asked by Himmler to arrange peace talks with the Allies in 1945, to Hitler's great irritation. As president of the Swedish Red Cross since 1946, he was asked by Trygve Lie to act as a mediator in Palestine in 1948 for the UN. He was murdered by Israeli terrorists determined to prevent the partition of Palestine.

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