A Man for All Connections: Raoul Wallenberg and the Hungarian State Apparatus, 1944-1945

A Man for All Connections: Raoul Wallenberg and the Hungarian State Apparatus, 1944-1945

A Man for All Connections: Raoul Wallenberg and the Hungarian State Apparatus, 1944-1945

A Man for All Connections: Raoul Wallenberg and the Hungarian State Apparatus, 1944-1945

Synopsis

This chronicle of Raoul Wallenberg's sojourn to Budapest documents his activities at the Swedish Legation and his rescue efforts on behalf of the Jews of Budapest. It is a matter of record that Wallenberg's mission was designed by compassionate and desperate men in Sweden and elsewhere. Less well known is the fact that the misson was activated and sustained by various representatives of the Hungarian state apparatus whose cooperation Wallenberg regularly sought and often received. The author, one of the former "hidden children" in Hungary, believes that without the official and covert aid of such individuals, Wallenberg's activities would have been confined to a series of efforts with little or no success.

Excerpt

On January 17, 1945, Raoul Wallenberg left Budapest in a chauffeur-driven car headed in the direction of Debrecen, a city in eastern Hungary, and has not been seen or heard from again. Since then speculations, some reasonable, others far- fetched, of his whereabouts and fate have circulated. They combine myth and reality, obscuring the real figure of Wallenberg.

Anyone who knew him, saw him, or merely heard of him has created an image and formed an opinion of the young Swede, who took upon himself a dangerous mission: rescuing Jews from the grasp of the Germans and their Hungarian allies in war-torn Budapest. His efforts and achievements are preserved in the grateful remembrance of both the survivors of the Holocaust in Hungary and his associates and collaborators.

This book is the result of an attempt to satisfy personal curiosity. I was one of the "hidden children." The intuition, ingenuity, and courage of my parents enabled me to conceal my true identity and spend some months in Hajdúszoboszló, a town in eastern Hungary, where I was liberated by Soviet soldiers in September 1944.

After the war in Hungary ended on April 4, 1945, my parents, my brother, and I returned to Budapest, where I had been born. We lived in the area where Wallenberg had spent much of his time negotiating for the safety and providing for the well-being of Jews whom he had placed under the protection of the Swedish legation. From the balcony of our apartment I could see the entire length of the street that still bears his name. I played innumerable pick-up games of soc-

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