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Tue 27 Aug 2013

Sweden commemorates WWII hero Wallenberg

For the first time Sweden honors its World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg in an annual commemoration day in recognition of his achievements in saving thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary. 

While serving as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest in 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory. 

The diplomat and humanitarian is credited for saving at least 20,000 lives. He is also said to had been crucial in dissuading German officers from massacring a Budapest ghetto inhabiting 70,000 people. 

In January 2013, Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth announced that August 27 is to be earmarked as Wallenberg Day, an official day to commemorate the country's internationally celebrated hero.

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