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'Give Wallenberg an annual day': minister

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'Give Wallenberg an annual day': minister
Ohlsson speaking at a Wallenberg memorial in the US congress in April.
10:18 CEST+02:00
As the 100 year anniversary of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg's birth is commemorated in Sweden and globally, democracy minister Birgitta Ohlsson suggests making August 4th Wallenberg's own annual day in the Swedish calendar.

In today's Europe, where xenophobic parties, extreme-right movements and populist groups are winning ground, what Wallenberg represents is more important than ever before, Ohlsson wrote in an opinion piece in national newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

“Wallenberg is an excellent symbol for a Sweden and Europe with solidarity, openness and tolerance,” Ohlsson wrote.

Today marks one hundred years to the day since Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg's birth on August 4th, 1912. The centennial has been commemorated in Sweden and in several other countries.

RELATED GALLERY: WHAT DO SWEDES KNOW OF RAOUL WALLENBERG?

Today several memorial celebrations are planned to take place in Stockholm, with notable guests including Crown Princess Victoria who will be attending a memorial arranged by school Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket.

“But the memory of Wallenberg deserves more long-term remembrance than simply a memorial year. His efforts deserve an annual Swedish memorial day,” Ohlsson wrote.

Wallenberg saved thousands of Jews during World War II, but his own fate remains shrouded in mystery. He was last seen in Budapest on January 17, 1945, when Soviet forces took the city from German troops, and Soviet records state he died in a Moscow prison in 1947.

"If Sweden doesn't commemorate Wallenberg for future generations - who will then preserve his memory?," Ohlsson concluded.

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