The Road to Freedom


At the end of World War II, the Swedish Red Cross was commissioned to rescue people from the Nazi concentration camps. In March 1945, an action was launched that involved many people and vehicles, among which were 36 white-painted buses with red crosses on them. The campaign has become known as “The White Buses”.

The mission was initially to save Danes, Norwegians and Germans with Swedish citizenship. Gradually, people of other nationalities were also taken to Sweden.

There was already a plan for how children, women and the elderly would be moved from Skåne to Småland if Sweden was to be involved in the war. The plan was now used to distribute the refugees to prepared camps in Småland and other provinces in southern Sweden.

In May 1945, the campaign ended and by then the white buses had brought about 15,500 people to Sweden.

There has not previously been a compilation about the refugee reception in Kronoberg County. Kulturparken Småland has therefore wanted to contribute to more knowledge about the event. We have searched information in archives and tried to find people who know or remember this time.

The exhibition The Road to Freedom is the result of the research and the first part of Kulturparken Småland’s project on the Småland refugee reception during the Second World War.


The exhibition is located at The House of Emigrants i Växjö.