62 Facts About Raoul Wallenberg


Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat, and humanitarian.


Raoul Wallenberg saved thousands of Jews in German-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from German Nazis and Hungarian fascists during the later stages of World War II.


On 17 January 1945, during the Siege of Budapest by the Red Army, Raoul Wallenberg was detained by SMERSH on suspicion of espionage and subsequently disappeared.


In 1981, US Congressman Tom Lantos, one of those saved by Raoul Wallenberg, sponsored a bill making Raoul Wallenberg an honorary citizen of the United States, the second person ever to receive this honour.


Raoul Wallenberg is an honorary citizen of Canada, Hungary, Australia, United Kingdom and Israel.


Raoul Wallenberg was born in 1912 in Lidingo Municipality, near Stockholm, where his maternal grandparents, Per Johan Wising and his wife Sophie Wising, had built a summer house in 1882.


Raoul Wallenberg's paternal grandfather, Gustaf Wallenberg, was a diplomat and envoy to Tokyo, Istanbul, and Sofia.

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Raoul Wallenberg's father died of cancer three months before he was born, and his maternal grandfather died of pneumonia three months after his birth.


Raoul Wallenberg spent one year there, and then in 1931 he studied architecture at the University of Michigan in the United States.


Raoul Wallenberg used his vacations to explore the United States, with hitchhiking being his preferred method of travel.


Raoul Wallenberg was aware of his one-sixteenth Jewish ancestry and proud of it.


Ingemar Hedenius recalls a conversation with Raoul Wallenberg dating back to 1930 when they were together in an army hospital during military service:.


Raoul Wallenberg was full of ideas and plans for the future.


Raoul Wallenberg was proud of his partial Jewish ancestry and, as I recall, must have exaggerated it somewhat.


Raul Raoul Wallenberg's Jewishness is supported by Sweden researcher Paul A Levine, who wrote in his monograph about Raoul Wallenberg:.


Raoul Wallenberg graduated from the University of Michigan in 1935.


Raoul Wallenberg returned to Sweden in 1936, securing a job in Stockholm with the help of his father's cousin and godfather, Jacob Wallenberg, at the Central European Trading Company, an export-import company trading between Stockholm and central Europe, owned by Kalman Lauer, a Hungarian Jew.


Out of necessity Raoul Wallenberg became Lauer's personal representative, traveling to Hungary to conduct business on Lauer's behalf and to look in on members of Lauer's extended family who remained in Budapest.


Raoul Wallenberg soon learned to speak Hungarian, and from 1941 made increasingly frequent travels to Budapest.


Raoul Wallenberg was directly inspired by "Pimpernel" Smith, a 1941 British anti-Nazi propaganda thriller.


Olsen's selection of Raoul Wallenberg met with objections from some US officials who doubted his reliability, in light of existing commercial relationships between businesses owned by the Raoul Wallenberg family and the German government.


When Raoul Wallenberg reached the Swedish legation in Budapest on July 9,1944, the intense Nazi campaign to deport the Jews of Hungary almost entirely to Auschwitz had already been under way for several months.


Raoul Wallenberg convinced her husband to have 9,000 passes honoured.


Raoul Wallenberg put up signs such as "The Swedish Library" and "The Swedish Research Institute" on their doors and hung oversized Swedish flags on the front of the buildings to bolster the deception.


Sandor Ardai, one of the drivers working for Raoul Wallenberg, recounted what Raoul Wallenberg did when he intercepted a trainload of Jews about to leave for Auschwitz:.

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Raoul Wallenberg ignored orders from the Germans for him to get down, then the Arrow Cross men began shooting and shouting at him to go away.


Raoul Wallenberg ignored them and calmly continued handing out passports to the hands that were reaching out for them.


Raoul Wallenberg met with and talked with Wallenberg on the phone several times.


Philips Budapest and a Dutch spy working for the British MI6, later claimed to have been his girlfriend, assisted Raoul Wallenberg, as did her son.


Raoul Wallenberg started sleeping in a different house each night, to guard against being captured or killed by Arrow Cross Party members or by Adolf Eichmann's men.


Two days before the Soviet Army occupied Budapest, Raoul Wallenberg negotiated with Eichmann and with Major-General Gerhard Schmidthuber, the supreme commander of German forces in Hungary.


Raoul Wallenberg saved hundreds of people but was not directly involved in the plan to save the ghetto.


People saved by Raoul Wallenberg include biochemist Lars Ernster, who was housed in the Swedish embassy, and Tom Lantos, later a member of the United States House of Representatives, who lived in one of the Swedish protective houses.


At the height of the fighting, on 17 January 1945, Raoul Wallenberg was called to General Malinovsky's headquarters in Debrecen to answer allegations that he was engaged in espionage.


Raoul Wallenberg was transported by train from Debrecen, through Romania, to Moscow.


Vladimir Dekanozov notified the Swedish government on 16 January 1945 that Raoul Wallenberg was under the protection of Soviet authorities.


On 21 January 1945, Raoul Wallenberg was transferred to Lubyanka prison and held in cell 123 with fellow prisoner Gustav Richter, who had been a police attache at the German embassy in Romania.


Richter testified in Sweden in 1955 that Raoul Wallenberg was interrogated once for about an hour and a half, in early February 1945.


Soderblom, still believing Raoul Wallenberg to be dead, ignored talk of an exchange for Russian defectors in Sweden.


Raoul Wallenberg concluded that Wallenberg died in 1947, executed while a prisoner in Lubyanka.


In Moscow in 2000, Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev announced that Raoul Wallenberg had been executed in 1947 in Lubyanka prison.


Raoul Wallenberg claimed that Vladimir Kryuchkov, the former Soviet secret police chief, told him about the shooting in a private conversation.


The statement did not explain why Raoul Wallenberg was killed or why the government had lied about it.


General Pavel Sudoplatov claimed that Raoul Wallenberg died after being poisoned by Grigory Mairanovsky, an NKVD chemist and torturer.


Files pertinent to Raoul Wallenberg were turned over to the chief rabbi of Russia by the Russian government in September 2007.

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Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal searched for Raoul Wallenberg and collected several testimonies.


The last reported sightings of Raoul Wallenberg were by two independent witnesses who said they had evidence that he was in prison in November 1987.


Annette Lantos, one of the people rescued by Raoul Wallenberg, began campaigning in the United States to get the Soviet Union to give answers about his disappearance, with her first attempt being in the late 1970s with her establishment of the International Free Raoul Wallenberg committee.


Raoul Wallenberg later tried to enlist US President Jimmy Carter to look for more information by sending in a postcard to the Ask President Carter radio show and by working with Simon Wiesenthal and Jack Anderson to tell Wallenberg's story through a Washington Post column.


Lantos' husband and fellow Holocaust survivor, Tom, later continued the congressional push for answers regarding Raoul Wallenberg after being elected to the House of Representatives in 1980.


Raoul Wallenberg traveled to the Soviet Union about fifty times for discussions and research, including an examination of the Vladimir prison records.


In 2012, Russian lieutenant-general Vasily Khristoforov, head of the registration branch of the Russian Federal Security Service, said that the Raoul Wallenberg case was still open.


Raoul Wallenberg dismissed any allegation of a continuing cover-up, saying that "this is another state and a different special service" from the Soviet Union and the services in charge of holding Wallenberg.


On 29 March 2016, an announcement was made by the Swedish Tax Agency that a petition to have Raoul Wallenberg declared dead in absentia was submitted.


Raoul Wallenberg was declared dead legally in October 2016, as announced through the petition.


Raoul Wallenberg's name appeared on a roster found in the National Archives which listed the names of operatives associated with the CIA's wartime predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services.


All of these humanitarians like Raoul Wallenberg, had interacted with many anti-fascist and socialist refugees during the War, and this experience was used in the Stalin regime's factional politics and show trials.


In 2009, reporter Joshua Prager wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal profiling the long-term toll that Raoul Wallenberg's disappearance had on his family.


Raoul Wallenberg found that through personal heroism and diplomatic support, Wallenberg managed to save about 7,000 to 9,000 Jews.


Raoul Wallenberg was incorrectly identified as the savior of all Jews in Budapest, or at least 100,000 of them, in official statements as well as many popular books and documentaries.


Raoul Wallenberg appears in the Spanish television series El angel de Budapest and is played by Ivan Fenyo.


Raoul Wallenberg is featured prominently in the work of painter and Holocaust survivor Alice Lok Cahana whose father was saved by Raoul Wallenberg.