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Apr 17, 2017

Helpers during the Holocaust honored in Hungary

A memorial plaque commemorating 19 helpers of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary, was unveiled in Budapest on Sunday

A memorial plaque commemorating 19 helpers of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary, was unveiled in Budapest on Sunday. The ceremony was one of several commemorations that took place on Sunday as part of the Memorial Day for the Victims of the Hungarian Holocaust, a national commemoration established in 2001 under the first Orbán Government.

Director of the Holocaust Memorial Centre Szabolcs Szita said there were about 850 Christian Hungarians who helped the rescue operation. He noted that people risked their own lives.

Wallenberg rescued tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis by providing them with fake Swedish passports or housing them in diplomatic buildings. But in January 1945, he vanished from the streets of Soviet-occupied Budapest and was never seen again.

Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviets on suspicion of espionage and there have been various accounts regarding his fate. Some have said he died in a Soviet prison, but his exact fate remains a mystery.

Raoul Wallenberg was born in Stockholm on August 4, 1912. He arrived in Budapest in July 1944 to serve as secretary at the Swedish Embassy. On January 17, 1945, he left Budapest for Debrecen (East Hungary), but never arrived there.