“Ist die Erinnerung wichtiger als der Mensch und er lebt und stirbt in ihrem Schatten?”
(“Ons mälestus tähtsam kui inimene, kes elab ja sureb mälestuse varjus?”).
Raoul Wallenberg (1912 – ?) was a member of the influential Swedish banking family who worked as a not too successful businessman around the world – including at least two visits to Budapest. In 1944 he was assigned to the Swedish legation there. His mission was to help save Hungarian Jews from being sent to the Nazi extermination camps. According to certain sources he managed to save about 100,000 Jews, though there is some disagreement as to how important his achievement really was. When the Russian army invaded Hungary in 1945 he was imprisoned, possibly due to suspicion of him being enrolled by the US secret service. What happened to him then is unclear. Official Soviet sources state that he died in prison in 1947 but there are reports that he had been seen at later dates. He has become a symbol for humanity and self-devotion and posthumously been awarded a lot of distinctions, not least honorary citizenship of the US; Sir Winston Churchill being the only other recipient.