2012 - The Raoul Wallenberg Year

Swedish hero of World War II honored in his 100th year

January 23, 2012: In 1944, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg helped tens of thousands—some say as many as 100,000 people—escape persecution and almost certain death when Nazi forces invaded Hungary during World War II.

This year, the 100th anniversary of Wallenberg’s birth will be commemorated by events in Sweden and around the world.

The celebration of Wallenberg’s life and work began on January 17 with the opening of the Raoul Wallenberg exhibition, “To Me There is No Other Choice,” at the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. Throughout 2012, the exhibition will travel to New York; Washington, D.C.; Moscow; Tel Aviv; Berlin and Toronto.

August 4, Wallenberg’s birthday, will be marked by worldwide events including a party in his hometown on the island of Lidingö in the Stockholm archipelago. Also on August 4, a section of 13th Avenue in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, will be renamed in Wallenberg’s honor.

Click here http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/15418 for a full calendar of events.
No one personified the continued need for tolerance and the fight for human rights better than Raoul Wallenberg.
After serving in the Swedish military and receiving a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, he pursued a career in business that led him to a partnership in Budapest with Koloman Lauer, a Hungarian Jew.
In 1944, Wallenberg was named to the Swedish legation of the War Refugee Board in Hungary. Its goal was to help in the rescue and evacuation of Hungary’s Jewish population under threat from the Nazis.
Under Wallenberg’s leadership, the mission was a success, but Wallenberg himself was not so lucky. On January 17, 1945, he was arrested and imprisoned by Soviet forces. How and why he was taken remains unclear, and even though it was reported that he died of a heart attack in 1947 while in captivity, that version of events remains in dispute to this day.
Wallenberg’s clear thinking, initiative and bravery have never been in doubt.
"We can honor him best by passing on to new generations knowledge about both Raoul Wallenberg as a person and the importance of individual responsibility and personal courage in crucial situations," said Olle Wästberg, the Swedish government's coordinator for the Raoul Wallenberg Year 2012.
The Raoul Wallenberg Year 2012 has been organized by a national committee in Sweden, headed by Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. Other partners and participants in Sweden include: the Swedish Institute, the Living History Forum, the Army Museum and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Lund.
For more information, visit www.raoulwallenberg2012.se

For information regarding press related matters, please contact:

Annika Benjes
Director Public Relations, USA
Phone: +12128859762

annika.benjes@visitsweden.com

Annika Benjes, PR Manager US

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