A diplomat and businessman, Wallenberg was appointed second secretary of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Budapest in June 1944. His job was to launch a rescue operation for Jews, and he became head of a special department. By issuing protective Swedish passports and renting buildings, “Swedish houses,” where Jews could seek shelter, he saved tens of thousands of lives.
In January 1945, Wallenberg was imprisoned by Soviet forces. His fate remains unknown. Russia claims he died in a Soviet prison on July 17, 1947. However, many witness reports suggest he may have been alive much later.
Around the world there are monuments, statues, and other works of art that honor Wallenberg. His memory is preserved through books, music and films, and many buildings, squares, streets, schools and other institutions bear his name.
Raoul Wallenberg Year 2012
Raoul Wallenberg would have turned 100 in 2012. His centenary will be commemorated in Sweden and abroad. Read more about what is happening during the year at: www.sweden.se