Wednesday May 17, 2023

Richard Ohlsson & Roger A. Ritvo | The Legacy of the White Bus Rescue

How could a jar of potato salad ultimately result in 15,345 lives being saved from the Nazi death machine at the very end of the Second World War?

On the 25th of April, 2023, the departments of History and CTR organized an event under the rubric "A Jar of Potato Salad Can Save lives: The Legacy of the White Bus Rescue Actions in March-May 1945." Two invited guest-presenters, Richard Ohlsson (President, Better Futures Foundation), Roger A. Ritvo (Distinguished Professor, Auburn University, Montgomery), took a closer look at these so called "White Bus rescue."

Organized by Count Folke Bernadotte with the agreement of Heinrich Himmler, the White Bus rescue had little to do with ‘winning the war,” but remains one of the largest humanitarian efforts in history. The Swedish Red Cross applied the principles of human rights in an era when these were trampled by power, delusional dreams of conquest, and inhumanity. Inspired by these events, Richard Ohlsson founded the Better Futures Foundation to carry on this legacy of courage by ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Roger Ritvo's recent research highlighted some of those rescued and how they went on to make major contributions to politics, the arts, business, and other humanitarian programs.

For a video-recording of this occasion, see


Music for the R&T is generously provided by the Nous 


Religion and Theology is produced by Joel Kuhlin for the Center for Theology and Religious Studies. If you have comments or critique of this episode, or any other episodes of R&T, please contact us via the podcast's twitteraccount: @reloteol.

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