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Swedish Schutzpass issued to Dessider Donnenberg (b. January 25, 1895) and signed by Per Anger.

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    Swedish Schutzpass issued to Dessider Donnenberg (b. January 25, 1895) and signed by Per Anger.
    Swedish Schutzpass issued to Dessider Donnenberg (b. January 25, 1895) and signed by Per Anger.


    Swedish Schutzpass issued to Dessider Donnenberg (b. January 25, 1895) and signed by Per Anger.
    1944 July 15
    Budapest, [Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun] Hungary
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Eric Saul

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    Eric Saul
    Copyright: Agency Agreement (No Fees)
    Source Record ID: File 31

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    Administrative Notes

    Per Johan Valentin Anger (1913-2002), second secretary at the Swedish legation in Budapest during World War II, who participated in efforts to rescue Hungarian Jews from arrest and deportation. Anger was born in Goteborg, Sweden. He studied law at the University of Stockholm and later at the University of Uppsala. After graduating in November 1939, he was drafted into the army. Soon afterwards, the Swedish Foreign Service offered him a trainee position at their legation in Berlin, which he began in January 1940. Anger was assigned to the trade department, but after the legation received information about an impending Nazi attack on Norway and Denmark, he became involved in relaying intelligence to Stockholm. In June 1941 he returned to Stockholm, where he worked on trade relations between Sweden and Hungary. In November 1942 Anger was sent to Budapest to serve in the position of second secretary at the Swedish legation. Up until the German invasion of Hungary, he focused his attention on Swedish-Hungarian trade, but thereafter became increasingly involved in efforts to aid Hungarian Jewry. Anger proposed the issuing of Swedish provisional passports and special certificates to protect Jews from internment and deportation. After the arrival of Raoul Wallenberg in July 1944, a new, more official looking Schutzpasse [protective pass] was designed to replace the old documents. In the fall of 1944, Anger assisted Wallenberg at the Budapest train station to rescue Jews from deportation actions. On more than one occasion during the death marches of Jews from Budapest to the Austrian border, he drove out along the road with Wallenberg to distribute food to the desperate people. At Hegyeshalom on the Austrian border, he and Wallenberg met with some success in their effort to get some of the Jews released before they were turned over to the German SS. In December 1944, Anger and his colleagues declined offers to be evacuated to Sweden in order to continue their rescue work. On January 10, 1945 Anger met Wallenberg for the last time before the Russians secreted Wallenberg away. Subsequently, the remaining members of the Swedish legation were put into Soviet custody. They were allowed to return to Sweden only in mid-April 1945. After the war, Anger continued his diplomatic career, serving in such posts as Swedish ambassador to Australia and Canada. Soon after his return to Sweden he also initiated efforts to search for Wallenberg, a concern that remained a primary focus in his life. In 1982 Per Anger was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, and in 1995 he was honored with the Hungarian Republic's Order of Merit.

    [Source: Metzler, David, "Per Anger," Jewish Virtual Library.]

    Raoul Wallenberg (1912-c.1947), Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest in the period between July 1944 and January 1945. Born into an aristocratic Swedish banking family, Raoul led a life of privilege. During his college years he studied architecture at the University of Michigan, but ultimately went to work for the family. In 1936 he spent six months at the Holland Bank, a branch of the family bank, in Haifa, Palestine. There he came into contact with Jewish refugees from Nazi persecution for the first time. Upon his return to Sweden he became an executive of an import-export firm headed by an Hungarian Jew that conducted business in Central Europe. During the early years of World War II, Wallenberg led a lively social life and otherwise appeared indifferent to world events, but there was an inner restlessness about him that seemed to be seeking an outlet. That outlet was found in the rescue of Hungarian Jewry. In the spring of 1944, the Swedish government (along with other neutral governments and organizations) was asked by the newly established U.S. War Refugee Board to help protect the Jews of Hungary, who in the wake of the German occupation, were in imminent danger of deportation to death camps. The Swedes delegated this task to Wallenberg, who was appointed First Secretary of the Swedish legation in Budapest. In addition to a diplomatic passport, he was given a large sum of money from the World Jewish Congress and War Refugee Board and carte blanche to use whatever methods necessary to effect the rescue of Hungarian Jewry. By the time Wallenberg arrived in Budapest on July 9, 1944, the Hungarian government had just halted the deportations begun in March. With the steady advance of the Soviet army, the puppet regime seemed eager to dissociate itself from the Nazis and polish its image in the international community. However, Adolf Eichmann continued to press hard to bring the Final Solution to the Jews of Budapest. Wallenberg wasted no time when he got to the capital and quickly became known for his unconventional methods and seeming fearlessness. After learning from Carl Lutz and others about the use of the Schutzbriefe (diplomatic protective passes), Wallenberg applied to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry for authority to use them. When permission was granted for only 1,500, he bribed officials to increase the figure to 15,000. Similarly, he sliced through bureaucratic complications to set up an extensive network of hospitals, daycare centers and soup kitchens for Jews under his protection. By early October Wallenberg was convinced that the situation was under control and that he could return to Stockholm. However, on October 15, a dramatic reversal took place as a result of the Arrow Cross coup and installation of the fascist Szalasi government. Deportations were resumed, the Schutzbriefe were revoked, and gangs of Arrow Cross hoodlums roamed the streets beating up Jews. In November Eichmann organized a series of death marches of Jews from Budapest to the Austrian border. Wallenberg reacted immediately. By dangling the possibility of Swedish diplomatic recognition as bait, he got the new government to revalidate the Schutzbriefe. He also played a key role in the establishment of the International Ghetto, a series of 31 buildings in which more than 30,000 Jews were concentrated under the protection of the neutral legations and the Red Cross. Using the money at his disposal he organized a paid staff of over 300, including medical personnel for two hospitals. Wallenberg repeatedly appeared at the railroad station in Budapest to distribute Schutzbriefe to Jews assembled for deportation, who he then escorted to a convoy of diplomatic cars parked nearby. When the death marches began, Wallenberg followed the columns of Jews in his car and handed out hundreds of Schutzbriefe during rest stops. These Jews were then sent back to Budapest. In the last weeks of the war, when he heard that the retreating Germans intended to blow up the central ghetto and its nearly 70,000 Jewish residents, Wallenberg rushed to the office of the garrison commander and threatened to have him prosecuted for war crimes if he carried out the plan. Wallenberg's life was under constant threat and rumors spread that the SS and Arrow Cross were engineering an "accident" to eliminate him without violating his diplomatic immunity. In the end, however, he was captured by the Russians rather than by the Germans and their collaborators. On January 17, 1945, a few days after the liberation of Pest, Wallenberg set out for Debrecen under Soviet military escort to see the Russian commander, Marshal Malinovsky, about a plan for the rehabilitation of the Jewish community. He was never seen again, and no explanation was ever proffered for his arrest. In 1957 the Soviets officially announced that Wallenberg had died from a heart attack in 1947 at Moscow's Lubianka prison, but no evidence was provided. When the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous came into existence in 1963, Wallenberg became one of the first rescuers to be officially recognized by Yad Vashem.

    [Sources: Paldiel, Mordecai. The Path of the Righteous, KTAV, Hoboken, NJ, 1993; Saul, Eric. "Visas for Life" exhibition, February 2000]
    Record last modified:
    2003-10-28 00:00:00
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