Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg (räōōl´ văl´ĕnbâr) 1912–47, Swedish diplomat and businessman. In 1944, he was assigned to Sweden's legation in Budapest, where he helped save approximately 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi extermination in an effort secretly supported by the U.S. War Refugee Board. He issued Swedish passports to approximately 20,000 Jews and sheltered others in houses he bought or rented. Adolf Eichmann, heading the transport of Jews to concentration camps, demanded that Wallenberg stop these activities and ordered his assassination, but the attempt failed. In 1945, the Soviets, who had just entered Budapest, imprisoned him, possibly because of secret work he was doing for U.S. Office of Strategic Services. In 1957 the Soviet government announced that he had died in prison of a heart attack in 1947, but he was reported seen at later dates. In 1991 Soviet authorities released KGB records that, although they did not contain proof that Wallenberg was dead, appeared to confirm that he had died in 1947, most likely by execution. He was made an honorary U.S. citizen in 1981.

See J. Bierman, Righteous Gentile (1981), K. Marton, Wallenberg: Missing Hero (1982, repr. 1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Raoul Wallenberg: Selected full-text books and articles

Courage to Remember: Interviews on the Holocaust By Kinue Tokudome Paragon House, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Wallenberg Inspires Us to Be Better Human Beings" begins on p. 81
Rescue Operations in Hungary: Myths and Realities By Braham, Randolph L East European Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 2, Summer 2004
Letters Paint a Self-Portrait of a Hero as a Young Man By Laqueur, Walter Insight on the News, Vol. 11, No. 6, February 6, 1995
How to Prevent Genocide: A Guide for Policymakers, Scholars, and the Concerned Citizen By John G. Heidenrich Praeger, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "The Method of Raoul Wallenberg" begins on p. 123
Daily Life during the Holocaust By Eve Nussbaum Soumerai; Carol D. Schulz Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Raoul Wallenberg begins on p. 236
The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis By William D. Rubinstein Routledge, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Raoul Wallenberg begins on p. 191
The Holocaust By Jack R. Fischel Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Raoul Wallenberg begins on p. 150
Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust By Malka Drucker; Gay Block Holmes & Meier, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Raoul Wallenberg begins on p. 213
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