Count Folke Bernadotte

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Person.png Count Folke Bernadotte  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born1895-01-02
Stockholm, Sweden
Died17 September 1948 (Age 53)
Jerusalem
Parents • Prince Oscar Bernadotte
• Ebba Munck af Fulkila
Children • Count Gustaf Eduard Count Folke
• Count Fredrik Oscar Count Bertil Oscar
SpouseEstelle Romaine Manville
Victim of • Zionism
• Stern Gang
• Yitzhak Shamir
• Assassination
A member of the Swedish Royal family appointed as UN Mediator in Palestine on 14 May 1948. He was assassinated by members of the Stern Gang on the orders of its then leader Yitzhak Shamir who would later become Prime minister of Israel. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for the killing.

Count Folke Bernadotte was a member of the Swedish royal family, cousin to the King. He was second only to Raoul Wallenburg for rescuing Jews in the last months of WWII. On 14 May 1948, the day before the British Mandate expired, the UN appointed him as "Mediator" to watch over Israel's birth, 'to use his good offices with the local community and authorities in Palestine ... to promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation in Palestine'.

Assassination

On 17 September 1948, some 2 months after the formal birth of the Israeli State, Bernadotte was traveling through Jerusalem in a 3 car UN convoy. The road was blocked by a jeep and 3 men opened fire on his vehicle with Schmeisser MP40 sub-machine guns. Both he and French Colonel Andre Serot, who was sitting next to him, were killed. [1] The fatal shots were fired by Yehoshua Cohen who admitted as much to David Ben-Gurion (Israeli prime minister at the time) after becoming his neighbor in Kibbutz sedh Boker in the late 1950's. [2]

Two months after Folke Bernadotte's killing and as a result of great international pressure, Israel arrested Nathan Yellin-Mor, the head of the Stern Gang, and Matitiahu Schmulevitz but they were released shortly afterwards. Yitzhak Shamir, the organisation's operational commander and future Prime Minister of Israel who had ordered the killing, went into hiding.[3]

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References

  1. Bergman, Ronen. Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations (p. 28). John Murray Press. Kindle Edition.
  2. Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion, 316–17 (Hebrew). Regev, Prince of Jerusalem, 100. Quoted in Bergman, Ronen. Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations (p. 632). John Murray Press. Kindle Edition.
  3. Hirst "The Gun and the Olive Branch" p.278 3rd Edition 2003