The day Raoul Wallenberg was arrested – level 2

17-01-1945

At the end of World War II, Hitler wanted to send many Hungarian Jews to concentration camps. The United States wanted to stop this plan. They sent Raoul Wallenberg to Budapest. Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who worked in Budapest before and who knew important people there.

When he came to Budapest, he started to give special documents to Hungarian Jews. These documents protected them from deportation. The Germans often respected these documents because they didn’t want to risk a diplomatic conflict with Sweden which was a neutral country.

Wallenberg had money from the US, and he rented 32 buildings in Budapest. He put Swedish flags on them. The buildings were protected by diplomatic immunity. Wallenberg hid many people in these buildings. Through his activities, he saved thousands of people from deaths in concentration camps.

The war was coming to an end. The Russians came to Hungary. On January 17, 1945, the Russians arrested Wallenberg. The Russians thought that he was an American agent. He was then taken to prison in Moscow where he disappeared. He was only 32 years old.

He was a big hero. People still remember his name. There are many streets in the world named after him.

Difficult words: Hungarian (from Hungary), Jew (somebody whose religion is Judaism), deportation (to move somebody to another country against their wish), diplomatic (the situation when you want to be friendly with another country), neutral (a person or group who does not fight), immunity (protection from some laws), concentration (a large collection of people), hero (a person who is very brave).

What do you think about this day?

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