The International Day of the Disappeared


On Thursday August 30th, 2007, the world will observe The International Day of the Disappeared. On this day we shall honor and commemorate those that remained under forced detention, in locations even unknown to their families. We stand in solidarity with the thousands of individuals who have suffered this gross violation of human rights, along with their loved ones.

We would like to congratulate the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and the United Nations for the declaration to devote this date, August 30th, 2007, and call upon the world to join our plight for all like Raoul Wallenberg of every time, continent, color, and creed.

Raoul Wallenberg was the Swedish diplomat, humanitarian and human rights activist who bravely came to the rescue of 100,000 people, more than have been saved by any other in world history.

Wallenberg was sent to Budapest during the final year of World War II with the mission of saving Hungarian Jews from the genocide at hand. He created Swedish protective passes to be distributed to those walking on death marches and boarding trains to concentration camps. He also created safe houses where people could hide under diplomatic protection. By acting swiftly, Wallenberg saved the lives of thousands and consequently, generations of people who now live all over the world. Yet, he was unable to save himself.

On January 17, 1945, for reasons unknown to this day, Wallenberg was captured and detained by the Soviet Union. The fate and whereabouts of this fallen hero remain a mystery. The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has launched a worldwide campaign to discover his fate. We have set the goal of collecting one signature for each of the 100,000 people saved by Wallenberg. The signatures will be sent as a petition to President Putin of Russia as we demand that he finally let the truth of Wallenberg’s fate be known. We call on the international community to join us in this effort until he is brought home.

We not only commemorate the life of this disappeared hero and demand that his fate be discovered. We also call on the international community to follow his exemplary actions. Wallenberg embodies the values of humanitarianism, civic responsibility and solidarity. On this International Day of the Disappeared, 2007, as we stand in solidarity with those who remain behind bars and denied their human rights, let us remember the brave example of humanitarianism set by Raoul Wallenberg, an extraordinary hero who made a difference against all of the odds and terror of his time.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation