RE : your words :
“Remember, at this time Count Bernadotte was trying to get Swedes and other Jews out of Germany – what ultimately led to Bernadotte’s shortening the war by getting Himmler to cut it short in Norway. For Bernadotte’s efforts, the Zionists reciprocated by assassinating him in 1948 for trying to achieve peace in Palestine – what the most unreliable Hugh Trevor Roper conveniently covered up by claiming such Swedes were all really anti-semites.”
and your false and misleading characterisation of Hugh Trevor-Roper.
You have certainly not heard the last word about this matter. But mysteries, even deep ones are to be solved and some will be. It’s just that some people are and have been keeping mum and of course have been saying less – much less than they know. Finito
This could be a little like taking coal to Newcastle!
No doubt you are deep in these matters. About Count Folke Bernadotte apart from his own accounts, I should like to refer you to pages 148 to 157 of “Ben Gurion” by Robert St John
How long do documents survive as classified Information? Can we ever get the whole, composite picture? Do you have it?
A historian of contemporary history does much the same as an investigative reporter and what is interesting is the point at which propaganda, espionage, counter-espionage, politics and history intersect – at which point gossip becomes even more fertile. But where else to go, where else is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
History is not always pleasant, because we sometimes have to face up to it. With history or even the falsification of history there’s always the question of contending interpretations of rumours of counter-rumours – and of what actually happened. Often, more than one authorized/ unauthorized version.
The main controversy about HTR is his dim view of African History – somewhat akin to the Islamic attitude about everything being Jahiliyya prior to the advent of Islam some 1,441 years ago.
First and foremost Sweden’s Royal Family and the nation at large still mourns Count Bernadotte who it appears was terminated because he wanted to give the Holy Land of Israel to the Arabs.
You are of course familiar with what Trevor Roper says, entitled “ The Bernadotte Myth” in his communication with Bernard Berenson, written at Christ Church, Oxford and dated 30 August 1952) to be found on pages 96 to 98 of Hugh Trevor-Roper : “Letters from Oxford”
To refresh you sir :
He tells Berenson, “Still I learn something about the world from these strange inhabitants of it. (See the enclosed note, which might entertain you, about the true facts concerning Count Bernadotte, now at last established by me. It is a copy of a prospectus which I sent to a paper: I don’t think it will inspire them to want the full story)”
It could be painful but still, I’ll quote it in full:
“Since 1945 there has been a great campaign in Sweden to build up the late Count Bernadotte as “the Prince of Peace” who by his diplomacy ended the war and rescued some 20,000 prisoners from the Nazi Concentration Camps. The campaign is connected with internal Swedish politics, i.e. the politics of the “neutral” party who claim that Sweden served humanity better by neutrality than it could have done by belligerency. It was begun by Bernadotte himself who published two books towards it (one has the significant title “Instead of Arms”) and indulged in heavy private propaganda, especially in England and USA. It has been continued in inspired articles, commissioned biographies, etc., largely emanating from Countess Bernadotte (the daughter of H.E. Manville, an asbestos-king); and has been largely successful. In fact it is both dishonest and untrue.
The negotiations which ensured the rescue of the 19,500 prisoners were almost exclusively the work of Felix Kersten, Himmler’s doctor, who had concerted the plan with the Swedish Foreign Minister; Gunther (6) long before Bernadotte appeared. When Bernadotte arrived in Germany, it was simply as an official of the Red Cross sent to arrange the details of transport according to plans already made between Kersten and Gunther. Further, when it came to implementing these plans, Bernadotte explicitly refused to save any Jews, telling Himmler that he shared his racial views. He also refused to take French and Dutch prisoners. In all this he was overruled by Kersten and disowned by Gunther, and Himmler in fact promised to Kersten and to the representative of the World Jewish Organization (with whom he had a secret interview!) that he would release the Jews, Frenchmen and Dutchmen as well as the Scandinavians to whom Bernadotte had sought to confine the operation.
In order to obtain the credit for the whole operation, Bernadotte made an alliance with Himmler’s head of intelligence Schellenberg( 7) . Schellenberg was afraid of condemnation as a war criminal for the major part that he had played in the Venlo incident (the kidnapping of Stevens and Best) (8)
Bernadotte promised to protect Schellenberg in Sweden if Schellenberg undertook to ascribe the rescue-work to Bernadotte. Although Bernadotte was unable to save Schellenberg from arrest when Schellenberg, as arranged fled to Sweden, this bargain was nevertheless kept, being in the interest of both parties. Bernadotte went to great lengths to give public testimonials to Schellenberg. Schellenberg in turn ascribed the rescue-work to negotiations between himself and Bernadotte.
For this plan it was necessary of course to silence Kersten. Bernadotte achieved this partly by threats, using his own position as a member of the Swedish royal house, and exploiting the fact that Kersten practises in Stockholm and is therefore vulnerable. Further Kersten knows no English and therefore could not control Bernadotte’s propaganda in England and America; and it was easy to denounce Kersten as Himmler’s doctor. In Bernadotte’s book Kersten is never even named, and before its publication Bernadotte threatened Kersten with harm in Sweden if Kersten made any protest.
These facts are well-known to several people in Germany, the World Jewish Organisation, and Holland. The Germans being mainly members of Himmler’s organisation keep pretty quiet; the Jews – after the murder of Bernadotte by Jewish extremists – dare not criticize him; but in Holland there have been reactions. (Kersten lives part of the year in Holland and is doctor to the Dutch royal family, and he saved great numbers of Dutchmen in the war.) Finally, last year, a Dutch Royal Commission was set up under a distinguished historian, Prof. Posthumus. (9) The report of this commission has been kept secret (presumably because of its damaging revelations about Bernadotte. I know that it does damage Bernadotte from personal conversations which I have had with Prof. Posthumus); but the result of it was that Kersten was made a Chevalier of the Order of Orange-Nassau and has now been recommended by the Dutch Government for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Of all the foregoing facts I am certain. They are based on documents in the Dutch Royal Institute of War Documentation, on affidavits from Germans and Swedes who were involved, on Himmler’s papers, and on evidence possessed by the World Jewish Organisation. I cannot publish the whole story, since I cannot produce some of the documents which prove it and since I must avoid causing difficulties in Sweden; but I can safely give an account which will be (a) proof against legal action, ( b) capable of substantiation, ( c) sufficient to prick the Bernadotte bubble.”
(6): Christian Gunther ( 1886-1966), a career diplomat who wrote poetry and novels, was appointed Swedish Foreign Minister on the outbreak of the war in 1939 and implemented Sweden’s wartime policy of strict neutrality. He was Swedish envoy to Italy, 1946-50
(7): Walter Schellenberg ( 1910-1952), who trained as a lawyer, was in charge of counter-intelligence inside and outside Germany 1939-41. He was chief of foreign intelligence from 1941 until the collapse of the Third Reich, and preened himself as Himmler’s “eminence grise”. T-R reviewed “ The Schellenberg Memoirs” in Sunday Times of 18 November 1956.
(8) Major Richard Stevens ( 1893-1967), an Indian army officer who had recently been appointed head of Secret Intelligent operations in the Netherlands, and his chief field agent, Sigismund Payne Best (1885-1978) , were lured to the village of Venlo on the Dutch-German border in November 1939, and kidnapped by commandos led by Schellenberg. The two Englishmen were subjected to a show-trial and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
(9) Nicolaas Posthumus ( 1880-1960), was an economic historian, was director of the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation and edited “ The Netherlands during the German Occupation” ( 1946)
I would also like to correct the several wrong impressions that someone who knows little about these matters might have when you say “For Bernadotte’s efforts, the Zionists reciprocated by assassinating him in 1948 for trying to achieve peace in Palestine”
These excerpts are from between the pages 148-157 referred to, (from Robert St John’s “ Ben-Gurion”. In my opinion St John is an objective observer and he sets the tone of the tragic drama from the beginning. Please bear in mind exactly what the situation was then, days, barely days after Israel’s Independence
“The first cease-fire came into effect at the end of the twenty-seventh day of fighting. It was arranged by Count Folke Bernadotte. Several weeks earlier Bernadotte and David Ben-Gurion had met for the first time at G.H.Q. Sharett (who had by now Hebraized his name from Shertok) was present. Also Dr. Ralph Bunche, Bernadotte’s American Negro assistant.
The tall blond member of the Swedish royal family, cultured and self-possessed, and the short, tough Jewish bulldog did not instantly appeal to each other.
Ben-Gurion eyed the visitor suspiciously.
“I have only come to discuss a truce proposal,” Bernadotte said in English with a heavy Scandinavian accent. “ I cannot deal with the whole problem of the future of Palestine.”
There was something about the way he said it that antagonized Ben-Gurion
On his part, Bernadotte decided that the Israeli leader was showing “ a bitter spirit”
“Twice my government has agreed to an unconditional truce;” Ben-Gurion declared. “The Arabs have refused. In spite of that, the Security Council has applied no sanctions against Arabs.”
They argued over many technicalities: then Ben-Gurion said:
“If there is a truce, Jews now separated from their families in Jerusalem must be permitted to be reunited with them.”
When Bernadotte made no reply, Ben-Gurion went on:
“My own daughter Renana is in Jerusalem. I would like to see her. I have not seen her for a long time.”
Bernadotte quickly answered:
“Your official position as commander-in-chief will place obstacles in the way of such a visit.”
The argument went on for a long time. At last the mediator looked at his watch and said he must leave, he had an appointment to attend a concert in Tel Aviv.
It was during the truce which was finally arranged that Bernadotte had to face his next major crisis.
The truce had been in effect nine days when a ship called the “Altalena” approached the shores of Israel”
( It was an Irgun ship and Ben-Gurion wanted them to turn over their arms to the government and of course they refused. After a hasty cabinet meeting Ben-Gurion,
“ordered the army to disarm Irgun forces at Kfar Vitkin and Israel naval units to take control of the “Altalena”. In both cases, force was to be used if necessary. The unloading was stopped: the “Altalena” moved out to sea, flanked by two Israel corvettes. It looked like Ben-Gurion had won a bloodless victory.
But the next morning after the Altalena had anchored within sight of the seafront hotel at Tel Aviv occupied by Bernadotte’s staff, a small boat of Irgun men came ashore, set up guns on the beach and announced defiance of Ben-Gurion, of the regular army, of the United Nations, and of anyone who might try to take from them their ship or its cargo.
Ben-Gurion called his Cabinet into another emergency session. He asked for and received authority to issue an ultimatum to Altalena: surrender or face “military measures”.
Civil war began early that morning………
“ The spectacle of Jews killing Jews on the beach of the only all-Jewish city in the world less than a month after the creation of the first Jewish state in nearly two thousand years had distressed many people, but gradually the world came to see that Ben-Gurion’s firmness had broken a potential revolution and brought under control a terrorist organization that for years had successfully defied everyone……
In early July the war began again, with Saudi Arabia joining in, which made it six to one instead of five to one…..”
…..Pages 154 – 55:
“In September, Ben-Gurion felt his suspicion of Bernadotte’s friendliness justified when the UN mediator finished work on his own plan to bring peace to the Middle East. Israel was to give up all the Negev, Ramle, and the New City of Jerusalem; Haifa was to become a free port and Lydda a free airport and all Arab refugees were to be taken back.
Ben-Gurion was at G.H.Q on 17th September when he received a telephone call from Jerusalem.
“Bernadotte has been killed”
The mediator had been on his way to keep an appointment with Dov Joseph, military governor of the New City.
Four men in a jeep blocked the road: Using sten guns, they killed Bernadotte and a French U.N. observer sitting in the car beside him.
The four men in khaki escaped but the Stern Gang had already publicly taken “credit” for the assassination, and had sent notes to consulates in the Jewish part of Jerusalem threatening similar action against anyone who “interferes with the interest of Jewish nationalism”
Ben-Gurion did not vacillate: the instructions that went out from G.H.Q. to the military commander in Jerusalem were his:
“No.1: Arrest all Stern members.
“No.2: Find and surround all Stern bases and confiscate all arms.
“No.3: Kill all resisters
“No.4 : Impose a curfew, close borders and all roads leading out of Jerusalem.
“No.5: Take no action against the Irgun unless they help the Sternists”
“ No.6: Act as soon as forces are available”
That evening the Cabinet approved the Prime Minister’s suggestion to give Irgun until Tuesday noon to disband as a military unit. A twenty thousand dollar reward was posted for the capture of Bernadotte’s murderers.
The Stern leader, Nathan Freidman-Yellin was caught at Haifa port about to flee the country. Hundreds of other Sternists were rounded up. Irgun accepted the ultimatum and disbanded.”