Prince Carl Philip unveils a memorial to Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg
Prince Carl Philip unveils the bust of Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg. Photo: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix
On Friday 16 September, Prince Carl Philip unveiled a memorial to Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg next to the Djurgårdsbrunn Canal on northern Djurgården.
Finance Commissioner Sten Nordin gave an introductory speech, after which Prince Carl Philip gave an inauguration speech. The Prince then unveiled the bust of Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg. Micael Stehr, a representative from the group that donated the bust, then gave a speech, and the ceremony concluded with a speech of thanks from Count Folke Bernadotte, son of the late Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg. Prince Carl Philip's speech: Dear relatives, Finance Commissioner, Ladies and gentlemen, We have gathered here today on Djurgården to honour the memory of Folke Bernadotte — a brave and enterprising man, who sadly left us all too early. A couple of weeks ago, I attended a film première in Malmö, where I learnt a great deal about Folke Bernadotte and the White Buses operation. The film, which was called "Harbour of Hope", was a documentary about the people who were saved from war-torn Germany in the spring of 1945, and the significant role played by Folke Bernadotte and the White Buses. The film was touching and poignant, but also inspired a sense of hope, showing as it did how these people got the chance to live a new life. Their new life began when they stepped ashore at Malmö Harbour. I also had the opportunity to meet some of the people whose stories are told in the film. In 1945 they were children or young people, but their memories of their experiences are still vivid. The film moved me, but hearing their own stories was even more fascinating. I met a man who had driven one of the White Buses. He told me that without Folke Bernadotte's leadership and energy, the buses might never have reached their destination. Around 15,000 people were saved from the concentration camps thanks to Folke Bernadotte and the White Buses. This was the biggest single rescue mission of the Second World War. The people in the film were incredibly grateful for what Sweden, Folke Bernadotte and the White Buses had done for them. It is largely thanks to people like Folke Bernadotte that we Swedes have a reputation for protecting the world's disadvantaged people. We should feel proud and honoured, and should see him as a role model. I am delighted to be unveiling this memorial to Folke Bernadotte today, and I hope that it will remind us how much an individual can actually do for others.