President Obama honours Raoul Wallenberg

'Days of Remembrance' is an annual event at the US Congress in connection with Holocaust Remembrance Day in the US. The theme this year was to call special attention to those who risked their lives during the Second World War to save people from the Holocaust. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was one of those honoured.

US Ambassador Mark Brzezinski surprised audience at Kulturhuset with video greeting from President Barack Obama. Photo: MFA/Charlotte Svalberg Lindquist (cc)

The event, which was broadcast live at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, was opened by Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson, followed by author Ingrid Carlberg. Before the live broadcast began, the US Ambassador in Sweden, Mark Brzezinski, spoke about 'the rescuers'. Everyone was surprised when the Ambassador concluded by presenting a unique video greeting from President Barack Obama who honoured Raoul Wallenberg's actions.

Since this year marks the 100th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg's birth, Swedish Speaker of the Riksdag Per Westerberg was among those who attended the event in Washington DC. During the candle lighting ceremony, Mr Westerberg escorted a Holocaust survivor. This was the first time that a foreign member of parliament participated in the candle lighting ceremony. Speaker of the House John Boehner also took part in the ceremony.

Another event took place in Washington, where the Swedish Institute's travelling exhibition 'To me there's no other choice' opened at the Swedish Embassy. The exhibition deals with Raoul Wallenberg's life and the choices he made.