Remembering Raoul Wallenberg
Raoul Wallenberg would have turned 100 in 2012. A Swedish diplomat and humanitarian, he saved thousands of Jews in Budapest during the Holocaust. He issued protective passes, provided safe houses and stopped trains going to extermination camps. Altogether, he saved the lives of nearly 100,000 Hungarian Jews.
Wallenberg‘s fate has always remained a mystery, following his arrest and disppearance in 1945. Yet his achievements live on as a reminder that courageous individuals can make a difference and that everyone has a responsibility to fight racism.
Statues, buildings, squares, streets and schools around the world bear his name. In 1981, he was named honorary citizens of the United States; in 1985, an honorary citizen of Canada and in 1986 an honorary citizen of Israel.
2012 is the centenary of Wallenberg’s birth. On this occasion, UNESCO is hosting a commemoration
on 21 November, to be opened by UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova. The event will include a testimony by Ms. Lívia Rév, who was saved by Wallenberg, a keynote remark by Mr. Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Holocaust Education. There will also be music, an exhibition and a film “Good evening, Mr. Wallenberg”.
The event is organized by the Hungarian and Swedish Permanent Delegations to UNESCO.