congressional gold medal awarded to Raoul Wallenberg in recognition of
his achievements and heroic actions during the Holocaust will be
presented to his next of kin or other family representative in July 9
ceremonies in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
duplicates of the gold medal are expected to be offered for sale to
the public by the United States Mint following the ceremony.
Swedish-born Wallenberg, who earned an undergraduate degree from the
University of Michigan in 1935 before returning to Sweden, is one of
31 non-U.S. citizens to be congressionally recognized with a gold
medal for their contributions. Wallenberg's medal is authorized under
Public Law 112-148.
working at the Holland Bank in the mid-1930s, Wallenberg began to meet
young Jews who had been forced to flee from Nazi persecution in
Germany. Working with the War Refugee Board, Wallenberg helped save
more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, many of whom
later immigrated to the United States. Today, hundreds of thousands of
American Jews can directly or indirectly attribute their own lives to
Wallenberg’s heroic actions.
fled to Budapest, Hungary, in the summer of 1944, and in January 1945
he was taken into custoday by Soviet forces who had captured the city
from the Germans. Wallenberg is presumed to have died July 17, 1947,
at age 34 at Moscow’s Lubyanka, a building that housed both KGB
security headquarters and affiliated prison.
medal’s obverse, designed and sculptured by U.S. Mint
Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II, features a portrait of Wallenberg.
and sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill, the
medal’s reverse depicts Wallenberg’s view as he extends a Schutz-pass
and a background view of those he could not reach being boarded on a
train bound for a concentration camp.