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The Learning Experience

By looking to a uniquely important historical event: The Swedish Red Cross World War II White Bus Rescue Action, the learning experience has the potential to serve as a transformative educational experience promoting social justice and civic responsibility.

Students will reflect on how citizenship was displayed in the past and reflect upon and discuss the questions:  How can we be good citizens today and how does this relate to the present and our emerging future?

Students will learn about highly recognized/decorated compassionate civilians;

  • Wanda Hjort, a young Norwegian under house arrest in Nazi Germany,
  • Count Folke Bernadotte negotiating with Heinrich Himmler.
  • Ordinary heroes who went above and beyond to help humans in need
  • Zygmunt Lakocinski who interviewed 500 survivors immediately after the rescue action
  • Elsie Ragusin, Roman Catholic Holocaust survivor rescued to Sweden by the White Buses.

The learning experience consist of 3 sessions.

1] ‘How a jar of potato salad led to the rescue of 15,500 Holocaust victims.’   [45 minutes]

Powerful engaging multi-media presentation followed by questions.  Online survey to measure impact.

Students will be introduced to a little known uniquely important historical event taking place in nazi-occupied territories and Sweden during and after World War II; The Swedish Red Cross White Bus Rescue Action.   Students will be introduced to highly recognized compassionate citizens and reflect upon their compassionate actions and hear a gripping personal story from a person rescued by the White Buses.


2]  ‘Looking to the past and Learning from the Emerging Future’   [approx. 45 + 45 minutes]

20-min movie following a workshop with self-reflective worksheets and peer discussions. The movie introduces students to Holocaust survivors as well as refugees and displaced humans of today.  The workshop challenges the students to develop empathy.


3] “With Compassion we Create Better Futures” [45 minutes]

Recap of session 1 and 2 following a workshop with focus on developing awareness, compassionate citizens, acceptance, tolerant attitude and encouraging civility. Self-assessments and peer discussions.


Inspired by learning experiences at Red Cross HQ in Oslo Norway, Malmö Museum in Malmö Sweden and the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen Denmark, the learning experience will focus on the concept of citizenship and moral responsibility.