Sweden to honor Wallenberg with annual memorial day

(JTA) — Sweden will honor World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg with an annual memorial day.

Aug. 27 will be earmarked as the official Wallenberg day, Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth wrote in an Op-Ed that appeared Friday in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, thelocal.se reported. Wallenberg’s sister Nina Lagergren also signed the piece. 

The announcement comes at the end of a year of events marking the 100th anniversary of Wallenberg’s birth. 

Wallenberg, a neutral Swedish diplomat in Budapest during the German occupation in 1944, issued Swedish travel documents — known as “Wallenberg passports” — to at least 20,000 Jews and also set up more than 30 safe houses for Jews. Other neutral diplomats collaborated in the effort.

The details of Wallenberg’s fate have remained a mystery after he disappeared while being escorted out of Hungary toward the Soviet Union. The Soviets claimed that he died of a heart attack in 1957, but other evidence indicated that he was killed in Lubyanka prison or that he may have lived years longer.
 

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