|The Swedish politics and reception of Polish female survivors from KZ Ravensbrück 1945|
|During WW2, Sweden tried to balance demands and requests from different countries in order to keep it’s position as a neutral country. In the beginning of the war German demands, for instance of transit conveyance or Swedish export of ball bearings, were treated positively. As a result of transit conveyance agreements, German troops were able to pass thru Sweden during the occupation of Norway. The Norwegian exile government protested and pushed for a cancellation of the agreement. The Allies also put pressure on Sweden to cancel Sweden’s trade agreements with Germany.
When the fortunes of war turned 1943, the Swedish government started to discuss Sweden’s future relations to the Allies. Relations with Denmark and Norway were worst, to improve these, Sweden needed to resort to radical measures. The Swedish government decided to stage a rescue operation to save Scandinavian prisoners in German concentration camps.
As one result of the rescue operation that was carried out by the Swedish Red Cross, approximately 6 000 Polish female survivors primarily from KZ Ravensbrück were transferred to Sweden. Questions that I discuss in my presentation is:
· How were the women received upon their arrival?
· Where were they stationed?
· What were they doing while in Sweden during the period of April – November 1945?
· What opportunities were offered to them by Swedish authorities, either to stay in Sweden or to return to their country of origin?
· What pressures were brought to bear on them by the Warsaw government to return to Poland?
· The Swedish refugee- and foreign policy at this time.
I even discuss politics behind Sweden and both polish goverments decisions about this group and their returning to Poland.