Raoul Wallenberg Budapest, Hungary, July 1939-1945

Who was Raoul Wallenberg? He was a Swedish businessman-turned-diplomat based in Budapest, was responsible for the rescue of thousands- some estimate are as high as high as 100,000-of Hungarian Jews of Budapest. He did this by handing out protective passports and set up homes, hospitals, nurseries, and soup kitchens for the Jews. He is mostly known for the safe houses for the Jews and other life-saving measures.

Issued Schutzpasses with a W in the bottom left hand corner

Raoul Wallenberg opened a Swedish embassy office close to the major Jewish ghetto and hired 400 individuals, most of them Jewish, to operate the facility. Wallenberg handed out hundreds of passports called "Schultz passes," and sheltered many dozens of protective houses, where he orders the Swedish flag flown, thus converting them into embassy annexes and shielding the inhabitants from the nazis. He also created cells of spies who provided intelligence on the operations of the Budapest police and Hungarian fascists.

The former Swedish legation from where Raoul Wallenberg and Per Anger managed their rescue operation.

Raoul Arrives in Budapest on July 9, 1944. He is on a diplomatic assignment from the Swedish legation and the War Refugee Board to aid in the rescue and relief of Jews in Budapest.

Soup kitchen and hospital all done by Raoul

Arrest and Disappearance In December 1944, the Soviet military began a siege of Budapest. On January 17, 1945,Wallenberg and his driver, Vilmos Langfelder, began a journey to Debrecen, located 120 miles east of Budapest, where the Soviets and a provisional Hungarian government were headquartered. The exact purpose of the trip is unknown, although one possibility is that Wallenberg wanted to discuss how to protect the Jews from pro-Nazi Hungarian thugs once the Red Army left the country. However, along the way to the meeting, Wallenberg and his driver were taken into custody by Soviet forces. What happened to the two men next remains a mystery, as they were never seen or heard from again by the outside world.

The Wallenberg Medal is a US prize for humanitarian efforts The Raoul Wallenberg Association was formed in 1979, with the aim of finding out the truthabout Wallenberg’s fate, securing his release, and disseminating information about hishumanitarian deeds. The Raoul Wallenberg Association became the Raoul WallenbergCommittees in 2000. The aims remain the same, with the added ambition of inspiring youngergenerations to embrace Wallenberg as a role model – showing that one man can make adifference.

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