Wallenberg to be honoured in NSW Parliament

August 29, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg – credited with saving 100,000 Jews during the Holocaust – will be formally honoured at a ceremony in NSW Parliament House next week.

Raoul Wallenberg

Premier Barry O’Farrell will give the keynote address, with messages to be delivered by the Ambassadors of Sweden, Hungary and Israel.

Community member George Farkas, whose father served as a close aide to Wallenberg for six months and  is believed to have been the last person in the free world to see him alive, will also address the ceremony.

The event has been organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wallenberg, who served as a Swedish envoy to Nazi-occupied Hungary and saved Jews from the Nazis by setting up safe houses and issuing certificates of protection and other documents. He also established hospitals and a soup kitchen for people targeted by the Nazis.

Controversy continues to surround the fate of Wallenberg, who was arrested by the Soviets in 1945 and was reportedly last sighted in the 1980s.

The ceremony will be held on September 5 in conjunction with the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants, the Sydney Jewish Museum and the embassies of Sweden, Israel and Hungary.

Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff: “Raoul Wallenberg was without question one of the heroes of the 20th century. Placing himself in harm’s way, he took exceptional measures to save thousands of people from certain death. It is highly appropriate that such courage and principle be recognised and honoured.”

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