A Forgotten Hero

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I have read many books about those who heroically saved Jews and others from being apprehended by the Nazis during WW II, but few stories have been as moving as that of Folks Bernadotte, the subject of this excellent  biography.

Bernadotte was the nephew of the king of Seeden. He started with a military career but retired in the early 1930's.  In the early 1940's he was asked to become the Vice Chairman of the Swedish Red Cross. Because the Chairman, his uncle was elderly, Bernadotte took a very active role in the organization. His top priority was to help prisoners and refugees during the war, he arranged a huge prisoner exchange and improved the lives of many refugees in Sweden, a neutral country.

But his crowning achievement was to rescue thousands of Jewish and Scandinavian prisoners from concentration camps in the final days of the war. Treading delicately but negotiating with Himmler for the release of some prisoners and with the covert help of one high-ranking Nazi, Bernadotte brought solice, comfort, and freedom to many.

For this he earned the thanks of many governments, organization and individuals. But he also earned the hatred of others who only knew of his "collaboration" with the Nazis, but not of the thousands those talks freed. People, mostly women, who would have been massacred before the concentration camps could be captured.

After the War he worked to help children in countries affected by the War and was the first UN representative to try to bring peace to Palestine after the creation of the modern state of Israel.

I didn't know about him. I loved learning about him. The book was so well-written I read half of it in one day. Bernadotte is a forgotten hero to most of us, but one who should be remembered with thanks by us all.
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A Forgotten Hero was a beautifully heartbreaking story that takes place during the horrific time of the Nazis. Shelley Emling does a brilliant job with this book. I found myself weeping at parts ( not crying but weeping) but as sad as this time book (and time) was this book is also filled with joy and hope. That joy and hope is provided by Folke Bernadotte, the head of the Swedish Red Cross that rescued more than 30,000 people from concentration camps.
Even sitting her in my living room writing this review the tears return to my eyes. This book is power and amazing! A applaud Shelley Emling for writing this book!
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Here is a book that has and is made up with real emotion true story.
It’s about the Swedish head of the Red Cross who saves 10’s of thousands of Jews during the war. 
You will need tissues 
Thank you to both NetGalley and ECW Press for my eARC in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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Forgotten Hero tells the story of Folke Bernadotte, Swedish head of The Red Cross, who had orchestrated the rescue of 30,000 Jewish women near the end of the Second World War.

I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I wouldn’t consider myself a World War II history buff or anything but I’ve read my fair share of books as well as watched several films and documentaries so I’d like to think I have a good understanding of the major events.  However, reading about the horrific atrocities that took place during the Holocaust is something I will never become numb to.  How could anyone?  It is endlessly sickening.

The prologue begins at the end of the story and describes in great detail the “living” conditions for those who had been rescued by Folke’s Red Cross at the Ravensbrück Camp.   From there, we’re given a brief outline of Folke’s family history before going into his upbringing and early life.  I found this rather dull.  I mean no disrespect to the man himself, but I’m not sure as much detail was required to fully build and explain his character.

That being said, there is some interesting information throughout the book that doesn’t necessarily tie to Bernadotte including the origins of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish National and the inventor of dynamite, an invention that had inadvertently led to a revolution in modern warfare.  You also get a brief but pretty comprehensive story about what had led to the implementation of the Manhattan Project which would lead to the creation of the nuclear bomb.

Folke’s story about how he managed to work with the German forces was an impressive one.  He had worked tirelessly to promote and negotiate a potential armistice between the Third Reich and the Allies – even at one point, without the knowledge of Hitler himself.

Forgotten Hero is the story of a moral man who lived in an immoral age.  Shelly Emling’s research is impeccable in its depth delivering a story that many should take it upon themselves to read.  In today’s age, we need the lessons of the past more than ever – especially those who chose to try to bring us together rather than to stoke the fires of division.

Expected Release Date: May 21, 2019
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