August 3, 2002

Tomorrow, August 4, anniversary of the birthday of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg will be marked

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An honorary US citizen since 1981, Wallenberg’s extraordinary rescue action on behalf of thousands of people, mainly Jews, whom he saved from a certain death at the hands of the Nazis in Budapest durinf the Second World War and his later abduction and disappearance by Soviet troops, have made him one of the heroes of modern times.

In a world which has yet to overcome the scourge of war and persecution, the example set by Wallenberg in 1944 shines as a beacon of solidarity and courage. Wallenberg, a Swedish protestant descended into the hell of wartorn Budapest, succeeded in saving the lives of up to 100,000 people. The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, set up in New York, Buenos Aires and Jerusalem to remember the life and work of this ”hero without a grave”, has among its founders a man saved by Wallenberg, US Representative Tom Lantos.

Tomorrow the world will remember Raoul Wallenberg, and in doing so will honour the memory of all those people who throughout the ages have risked their lives to save fellow human beings.