Wallenberg, Raoul (1912 – 19- -?)

Raoul Wallenberg traveled to Budapest under diplomatic cover on a mission to save Jews. A scion of one of the prominent families and business leaders of Sweden. He had been trained as an architect at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  He worked in banking in South Africa and Palestine.

Coming to Budapest, he plunged head on into his mission of saving Jews persecuted by the Arrow-Cross and the Nazis. He became a formidable force combating these two regimes with exceptional results. He joined the other neutral diplomatic embassies in Budapest by supporting Schutzhäuser, issuing documents and inviting the Jewish underground Chalutzim into his embassy to prepare the documents themselves due to the sheer volume which he could not handle. His exploits are legendary. He worked closely with Kastner and the Rescue Committee, with Peretz Révész and his team as well as with Giorgio Perlasca, Karl Lutz, Friedrich Born, de Sousa-Mendes, Sans-Briz and Archbishop Rotta. He performed daring feats with a dedication and fervor that knew no bounds. He hated totalitarism; it offended his instilled democratic principles. After the Soviet conquest of Budapest he continued to negotiate with the Russians and the Communist puppet government that succeeded the Arrow-Cross. When last seen accompanied by NKVD agents he said that he “…is on the way to Marshal Malinowski’s headquarters in Debrecen and does not know whether he is traveling as a guest or a prisoner.” This was the last anyone saw of Wallenberg. Rumors and statements by the Soviets that he died in the Lubyanka prison in Moscow of a heart attack in 1957 cannot be verified. His association with the WRB, the American Refugee organization might have made him suspect in the eyes of the Russians who accused him of espionage. The search for Wallenberg and the quest for knowledge of precisely what happened to him continues to this day.  In 1948, Wallenberg was thirty-six years old.


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