Sweden to honor Wallenberg

Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Sweden introduced an official memorial day, Aug. 27, to honor diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, whose actions in World War II saved 100,000 people from the Holocaust.

Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Wallenberg's sister, Nina Lagergren, called for the honor in an opinion piece published Friday in the newspaper Dagens Hyheter.

"It is time to manifest the individual's responsibility to tackle oppression and xenophobia and to underscore Sweden's traditions of openness and tolerance," they wrote.

While there is no official process for introducing a memorial day in Sweden, the date was chosen to coincide with the start of the school year and comes after celebrations in 2012 to mark Wallenberg's 100th birthday, the Swedish news agency TT/The Local said.

As a Swedish special envoy to Hungary in World War II, Wallenberg was responsible for saving the lives of Jews by providing passports and safe locations. He died in 1947.

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