May 2, 2002

Raoul Wallenberg commemorated with second monument in hometown


STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from deportation to Nazi death camps, was commemorated Thursday with a second monument – a bronze briefcase representing the one he used to carry Swedish passports to Jews to help them escape the Nazis.

The briefcase, engraved with Wallenberg’s initials, was unveiled at a ceremony in his hometown of Lindingoe, just east of the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

Wallenberg, who worked as a diplomat in Budapest, is credited for having saved at least 20,000 lives during World War II. He was arrested by Soviet troops in 1945 and is believed to have died in captivity, although the time and circumstances of his death remain unclear.

The sculpture, created by artist Ulla Kraitz, is reminiscent of the briefcase he used to distributed Swedish passports to Jews to protect them from the Nazis in Hungary, city spokeswoman Madeleine Helleday said.

The monument was placed at the remains of the house where Wallenberg was born and which burned down in the 1930s.

Similar sculptures are on display at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and outside the United Nations headquarters in New York, Helleday said.

A four-meter-high (13-foot-high) sculpture of Wallenberg was unveiled at a square in Lidingoe three years ago.