Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish rescuer whose heroic efforts are believed to have saved many thousands of Jews from deportation to Auschwitz.

Born to a wealthy Swedish banking family, Wallenberg had no interest in the family business and studied Architecture at The University of Michigan. While there, he also made himself fluent in English, German, and French. After graduating in 1935, he was unable to find a job as an architect in Sweden. So his grandfather arranged several opportunities for him in South Africa, Palestine, and finally in Stockholm at the Central European Trading Company. The latter was owned by a Hungarian Jew named Kalman Lauer, and it is this partnership that began Wallenberg's enduring relationship with the Jews of Hungary.

As anti-Jewish measures made it increasingly difficult for Lauer to conduct business in Hungary, he dispatched Wallenberg to act on his behalf. By 1941, Wallenberg had become fluent in Hungarian, and became a joint owner in the company.

As the Germans became aware of their inevitable defeat in central Europe, they began to deport thousands of Hungarian Jews for extermination at Auschwitz. During the same time, the U.S. government had finally begun to assemble the War Refugee Board (WRB). By the middle of 1944, the WRB had determined that Raoul Wallenberg act as their representative in Hungary.

Wallenberg immediately began a campaign to save the Jews of Hungary. Given the authority to take whatever necessary means to achieve his goal, he forged documents, distributed protective passports, created more than 30 "safe houses" and bribed officials. Thousands of Hungarian Jews owe their lives to Raoul Wallenberg.

Unfortunately, the Soviets were skeptical of Wallengberg's presence. After liberating Budapest, they detained Wallenberg in January of 1945 on suspicion of espionage. A few days later, he was transferred to Lubyanka Prison in Moscow, and was never seen again. There has been much speculation about his death, however no conclusive evidence has ever been revealed.