October 29, 2014

Prague names street after Raoul Wallenberg to remember courageous Swedish diplomat


PRAGUE–The Czech capital Friday inaugurated a street named after Raoul Wallenberg to honor this Swedish diplomat who saved ten thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during the World War II.

A niece of Mr. Wallenberg, who perished in a Soviet prison after the war, Swedish and Czech officials took part in the naming ceremony to mark the United Nations Day, devoted to remembering humanitarian achievements.

‘Raoul Wallenberg Promenade’ is a pedestrian lane near the Swedish embassy and leading into the Petrin hill park adjacent to the Prague castle. The Wallenberg memorial ceremony in Prague coincides with another holocaust-linked remembrance due to take place in the Czech capital. On Tuesday, Sir Nicholas Winton, a British philanthropist who rescued hundreds of mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia1939, will be awarded the highest state decoration of the Czech Republic.

In 1944 Mr. Wallenberg, posted in Budapest, granted visas and provided refuge to Jews in the Hungarian capital to prevent their deportation by the Nazis to concentration camps.

In early 1945 during the Red Army’s siege of Budapest Mr. Wallenberg was detained by the Soviet authorities for alleged espionage. He and his driver subsequently disappeared. Mr. Wallenberg is believed to have died in a Moscow prison in 1947. However, exact details of his disappearance and imprisonment in Russia still remain unknown despite numerous international efforts to have them explained by Soviet and Russian authorities.

The Czech capital joined Budapest and other cities in the U.S. or Israel to unveil a public memorial to Mr. Wallenberg.

In June the Hungarian capital installed a monument honoring the Swedish diplomat on Erzsebet Square in downtown Budapest.