In the summer of 1944, the Jews of Budapest wondered, who would risk his life for them while uniformed murderers prowled the streets hunting for Jews? An inexperienced 32-year-old Swede volunteered, and saved thousands. Wallenberg’s successful rescue makes clear that mass murder can and must be stopped. But the rescuers must be as zealous about their task as the murders are about theirs—and more creative….
Toward the end of 1944, even as Russian guns reverberated in the city’s outskirts, Eichmann was still determined to finish the job. Now, the Nazis and their Hungarian allies force-marched thousands of Jews to the German border. Pursuing the ragged columns, Wallenberg was a driven man. He shouted out, “Raise your hand if you hold a Swedish passport!” This way he pulled scores from the death marches, and speeded them back to Budapest. At a minimum, he thrust food, cognac and blankets at the marchers—a final human gesture for those en route to an inhuman end.