Med anledning av att Raoul Wallenberg- året nu avslutas, bjöd jag igår in till en välbesökt mottagning i Stadshuset. Gästerna bestod av bland annat representanter från UD, flertalet ambassader i Stockholm och judiska församlingen. Överlevande som hjälptes av Raoul Wallenberg under andra världskriget deltog också.
En av gästerna var den amerikanska ambassadören Mark F. Brzezinski (se bilden ovan).
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It is with great pleasure that I welcome you here this evening to celebrate a great man whose legacy has become a symbol for both courage and compassion. Raoul Wallenberg was born on the island of Lidingö, just a short distance from Stockholm, in 1912. To mark what would have been his 100th birthday, the world has celebrated his memory. And of course, here in Stockholm there has been no exception.
The year Raoul Wallenberg was born, Stockholm successfully hosted the summer Olympic Games. The success of those games inspired a generation of Swedes to excel within sports. Today Sweden is a proud sporting nation. As we celebrate the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, I hope that our young generation can also be inspired to greatness as world citizens.
Up until the last few decades, Swedish history has neglected the importance of Raoul Wallenberg. This had been highly regrettable. A serious, and welcomed discussion, has started in Sweden about the rights and wrong of Sweden’s role during World War II. Regardless of opinion in that matter, the courageous acts of Raoul Wallenberg, and let us also remember his colleague Per Anger, is worth our respect and admiration.
As Georg Orwell once cleverly wrote “the quickest way of ending a war is to lose it”. What we have learned from the memory of these two men is that surrender to tyranny is neither a moral a humane option, and that history in the end will judge us accordingly. Thank you!