Thursday, September 17, 2009

The story of Raoul Wallenberg

Recently I read a book about Raoul Wallenberg. He had an amazing story. He was a Swedish diplomat who saved around 30,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II. Hungary was ruled by a Hungarian who was a puppet of Hitler. But somehow Hungary had avoided Nazi pressure to persecute the Jews--until the spring of 1944. Then, Adolf Eichmann arrived on the scene. He was the "mastermind" behind the killing of the Jews, and probably no one did more than he did to carry out the executions. Within 6 weeks, from mid-May to the end of June 1944, Eichmann had sent almost 450,000 Hungarian Jews to their deaths.
Wallenberg, however, went to Hungary and managed to get many people out on Swedish passports. He gave them out freely, and didn't object when he found out that other people were forging even more Swedish passports. He was very heroic and worked tirelessly that year to save as many people as he could.
What happened to him? When the Soviets rolled into Hungary, they took Wallenberg as a prisoner and he disappeared into the Soviet Gulag. No one knows exactly what his fate was. He was never freed and probably died, deserted and alone, in a Soviet prison or Siberian labor camp. But now he must be in heaven enjoying the vision of God and a great reward for all his work.