Raoul Wallenberg was born into a distinguished Swedish family on August 4, 1912. Educated in Sweden, Raoul studied architecture at the University of Michigan and graduated in the same class as President Gerald Ford.

In 1936, a position was secured for young Wallenberg at a bank in Palestine, where he first began to learn of the evil engulfing Europe.

In 1939 Raoul returned to Sweden and began work for a trading company with extensive contacts in Hungary. As a Christian and from neutral Sweden, he had free access to both Nazi occupied and allied Europe. He learned first-hand of the Nazi's atrocities.

In 1944, at the request of the United States War Refugee Board, the Swedish government sent Raoul Wallenberg to Budapest as First Secretary of the Swedish Legation. Raoul quickly began to deal with the horror that hundreds of thousands of persons faced at the hands of the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators.

Raoul ingeniously redesigned Sweden's safe pass (Shutzpass) and liberally distributed this special document to thousands of persons marked for extinction. With funds provided by the United States, Wallenberg purchased numerous buildings in Budapest which were designated "Safe Houses" under the protection of Sweden.

Working tirelessly, from July 9, 1944 until January 17, 1945 (six months) Raoul Wallenberg is officially credited with saving approximately 100,000 individuals from almost certain death.

 

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