Lidingo Municipality, Sweden
4th August 1912 – 17th July 1947?
Wallenberg was responsible for saving the lives of around 100,000 Jews between July and December 1944. From his diplomatic post in Budapest, Hungary he was able to issue protective Swedish passports and to house Jews. His efforts to save Jewish lives was a reaction to the stories he heard in the early 1930s in Palestine, from Jews that had recently escaped Nazi concentration camps.
Wallenberg’s business contacts, excellent language skills, and his business partner Koloman Lauer facilitated protection for Jews through the Swedish legation (embassy) in Hungary.
Wallenberg’s response to colleague’s pleas for him to go into hiding was “For me there’s no choice. I’ve taken on this assignment and I’d never be able to go back to Stockholm without knowing inside myself I’d done all a man could do to save as many Jews as possible.”
On January 17th 1945, Wallenberg was taken into Soviet custody and beyond that date his fate cannot be confirmed. Rumors put his death on July 17th 1947, but eye-witness accounts place him in Vladimir prison near Moscow some time in the 1960s or 1970s.
In 1966 one of the 600 trees on the ‘Avenue of the Righteous’ in Israel was named after Wallenberg for “his most noble principles of humanity by risking his life to save Jews during the Holocaust.”