Wallenberg (1912- ?), Raoul

6 March, 2009
Bovy Daniel

Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat chargé d’affaires in Budapest. He used his diplomatic status to save in 1944 an important number of Hungarian Jews from death. Wallenberg delivered temporary passports, declaring that the beneficiaries of those documents were Swedish citizens waiting for repatriation. He also negotiated with high rank Nazis – Eichmann among others – and tried to cancel the deportations, saving the life of about 20,000 to 100,000 Jews. Another of Wallenberg’s trick consisted in buying houses with money issued by the Swedish embassy, and hanging a Swedish flag, so pretending that Jews inside were protected by a kind of diplomatic territoriality. He moreover provided a “protection passport” to these people. The document had no legal value but it was sufficient to delude the Nazis for some time. Another part of the Jews was accommodated at the Swedish embassy. Wallenberg was arrested on January 17, 1945 by the Russians. What happened to him afterwards is unknown. Some suggest that he died while in captivity but his brothers always kept a total secret even though Harry Truman and Simon Wiesenthal proposed their help for further investigations. Raoul Wallenberg has been made honor citizen of the USA in 1981, of Canada in 1985 and of Israel in 1986. In 1996, he was named “Just among the Nations”.


Derogy, J., 1994, Raoul Wallenberg. Le Juste De Budapest. Paris: Stock.

International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation: http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/?en

Cite this item

Bovy Daniel, Wallenberg (1912- ?), Raoul , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 6 March, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021, http://bo-k2s.sciences-po.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/en/document/wallenberg-1912-raoul, ISSN 1961-9898
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