1912 – Born on August 4th in Stockholm, Sweden. Swedish businessman and diplomat who became legendary through his efforts to rescue Hungarian Jews during World War II and through his disappearance while a prisoner in the Soviet Union.
1936 – A descendant of a wealthy and prestigious family of bankers, industrialists, and diplomats, Wallenberg studied architecture in the United States and became the foreign representative for a central European trading company, whose president was a Hungarian Jew.
1944 – After the Germans sent troops and SS (Nazi paramilitary corps) units into Hungary in March to round up “subversives” and Jews, Wallenberg, with the help of Jewish and refugee organizations from Sweden and the United States, persuaded the Swedish Foreign Ministry to send him to Budapest on July 9 with a diplomatic passport.
1945 – Wallenberg reported to the occupying authority on January 17th, but was immediately arrested for espionage—his money, radio, and dubious diplomatic status making him suspect.
1947 – According to Swedish authorities, the Soviets later privately admitted that his arrest had been a mistake, during a confused period at war’s end, but that their only information was that Wallenberg had died of a heart attack on July 17th in a Moscow prison cell.
1981 – On September 22nd, the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of Representative Tom Lantos—who had himself been rescued by Wallenberg—granted honorary citizenship to the missing Wallenberg. Such honorary citizenship had been granted only once before, to Sir Winston Churchill.