The ghost train
When Svensson’s group returned the white buses had fulfilled their duties in Germany. The front was closing in rapidly and it was clear that it would be impossible to manage the evacuation from Ravensbrück with the transportation available. Negotiations began with the railway
authorities and with the assistance of the camp commander, Captain Suhren, they managed to get hold of a train with room for 4000 people.
On the 25th of April the train left for Lübeck, and was estimated to arrive the next day. At the end station everyone waited in vain. The train did not show up, not that day or the next few days. Nobody new where the train was or what had happened. It was called “the ghost train”.
On the night of 29th of April it finally arrived. From Lübeck it was brought on to Padborg station where 3960 women could get off, and later be brought to freedom in Sweden.
A few days later, on the 2nd of May, a second train with 2873 women unexpectedly rolled into the station. It was the commander of the women’s prison in Hamburg who had sent the women who had been interned in camps around the town.
Source: The White Buses. The Swedish Red Cross rescue action in Germany during the Second World War – The Swedish Red Cross, Stockholm, January 2000 /Research: Agneta Greayer and Sonja Sjöstrand/Editing: Martin Wikberg Translation: Annika and Peter Hodgson