Help from Denmark

At the beginning of April part of the Swedish detachment returned to Sweden as planed. The remaining personnel and vehicles, 130 men in two platoons of 12 buses each, were regrouped under supervision of Major Sven Frykman, who now relieved Colonel Gottfrid Björck.

With the Danish policemen collected most of the detachment’s original tasks were done. The expedition had been running for a month and many of the men were forced to return to their regular duties.
More resources were needed in order to be able to carry out the extended expedition that was being planned. At an early stage Norway and Denmark had offered to help; Norway with ten or so buses and Denmark with sixty or so, but the government had been of the opinion that the whole action ought to be Swedish and be carried out by the Swedish Red Cross. Bernadotte now accepted the help from Denmark.

The Danish vehicles and personnel were put to the expedition’s disposal by the Danish Social Ministry and were to answer to the Swedish detachment. On the 1st to the 3rd of April the first Danish contribution arrived; two columns with 33 buses, 15 ambulances, six lorries and seven cars. At the evacuation of the Neuegamme camp a further 90 buses, eight to ten ambulances, ten lorries, five cars and five motorcycles were added.

The Danish reinforcement consisted of a total of 450 people, amongst them ten doctors and 16 nurses. The division of responsibilities was quite clear. The Swedish columns handled transportation between German camps and Neuegamme, whilst feeding, quarantine and removal to Sweden and Denmark were handled by the Danes. Their first assignment was to repatriate the policemen from Neuegamme to Denmark. Between the 3rd and 10th of April they transferred 1717 people to the Fröslöv camp in southern Denmark.

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