Monday, July 2, 2012

Op-Ed: Why Raoul Wallenberg’s centennial matters

Raoul Wallenberg 1944 Budapest
The Swedish rescuer Raoul Wallenberg was born 100 years ago this summer, and his centennial is being commemorated with events in many cities across Europe and North America. On June 26, a symposium in his memory was held at Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research in Jerusalem.

Wallenberg, whose birth date is Aug. 4, 1912, is one of the approximately 24,000 individuals who have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, the honor bestowed by Yad Vashem and the State of Israel upon non-Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

Why is his centennial the cause of so much commemorative activity?

Certainly part of the answer lies in Wallenberg’s tragic fate. Early in 1945, after having been involved in rescuing Jews in Budapest since the previous summer, Wallenberg was arrested by the conquering Soviets. -- Robert Rozett, JTA

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