Each year, on January 17th, we honor the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish humanitarian who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. He is considered one of the most prominent Righteous Among the Nations, non-Jewish people who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
Raoul Wallenberg was a diplomat who was appointed as Sweden’s special envoy to Hungary in 1944. During his tenure, he used his diplomatic immunity to issue protective passports and shelter Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory. He also set up a network of safe houses and used his diplomatic skills to negotiate with Nazi officials to prevent the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.
In total, it is estimated that Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of Jews from certain death during the Holocaust. His actions were recognized by the State of Israel, which in 1963, named him one of the “Righteous Among the Nations,” an honor given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
In 1981, the United Nations declared January 17 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, we remember the victims of the Holocaust and honor the memory of those who, like Raoul Wallenberg, risked their lives to save others during one of the darkest periods in human history.
It is also important to remember Raoul Wallenberg not just for his heroic actions but also for his tragic fate. Wallenberg was arrested by Soviet authorities in January 1945 and was believed to have been executed in July 1947, although the exact circumstances of his death remain a mystery.
In short, Raoul Wallenberg is remembered on January 17th as a symbol of courage and compassion, who risked his own life to save thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. He is honored as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, and serves as an inspiration to all people who seek to make a positive impact in the world.