Raoul Wallenburg

WWII made a huge impact on the world. From the many concentration camps to German soldiers invading homes to take Jews away. Although the majority of the people in that time were supporters of Hitler and the Holocaust movement, many people and organizations helped rescue and keep Jews safe.

Raoul Gustav Wallenberg was one of those courageous people. He was born in Stockholm, Sweden on August 4th, 1912. His father Oskar Wallenberg, was a lieutenant in the Swedish Navy, but died of an illness before his son Raoul was born. In return Raoul was raised by his grandfather Gustav Wallenberg, and he aspired to make Raoul a respectful and courageous man. He also made sure his grandson had many opportunities to learn about different cultures and languages, by allowing him to travel to Europe many times. After high school Raoul completed the mandatory nine month service in the Swedish military and then moved to Paris. He then studied architecture at the University of Michigan and graduated in 1935.

After that, in 1936, Raoul started working at a bank in Haifa. This is where he had first heard of the antisemitism that was under the control of Adolf Hitler. By the early 1940's Raoul began working for a food exporting company in Stockholm. The owner of this company was Jewish and could no longer travel through the Nazi controlled country to deliver the food. Wallenberg took his place and was quickly acquainted with the Hungarian capital, Budapest. The Hungarian government was pro-Nazi, so soon German troops moved in to take out all the Hungarian Jews. This mission was headed by Adolf Eichmann. After this mission there was nearly 400,000 Jews captured and being transported to Auschwitz. In result of that, Sweden sent out a envoy to Budapest to make a rescue effort. Wallenberg was chose to be in that envoy.

July in 1944 Roul made it to Budapest. He, then opened an embassy office close to a big Jewish ghetto. He hired 400 Jews to work in his company. In the next few months he gave out protective passports to as many as 20,000 Jews. These passports gave the Jewish recipients diplomatic immunity (protects them from deportation). During this time Wallenberg also established many safe houses for the Jews, he also made sure the Swedish Flag was flown above every house, which protected them from Nazi invasion. Wallenberg also bought off German officials to keep him updated about what was being said in the Budapest police department. Despite these efforts, Wallenberg himself rescued Jews fro, deportation trains. He gave the people he could reach Swedish papers, then argued that everyone who had papers should get let off the train. During the fall of 1944, Eichmann tried to have Wallenberg killed by attacking his car. Wallenberg wasn't in his car. Even though Raoul was in great danger he persistent put efforts toward the rescues of Jews. He even directly challenged Eichmann.

During the siege of Budapest, Wallenberg and his driver were taken into custody by Soviet forces. What happened to those two after that remains a mystery. Some believe he died from heart disease, or was killed by the Soviets, because they believed Raoul was working as a spy for the Western nations.

Works Cited:"Raoul Wallenberg - Facts & Summary - HISTORY.Com". HISTORY.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 1 Mar. 2017.

RaoulWallenbergJewishvirtuallibrary.org http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/raoul-wallenberg-3

Raoul Wallenberg’s biography The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/wallenberg/raoul-wallenberg-s-biography/


Created with images by Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Sweden Grunge Flag"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.