Passport Wallenberg used to save Jews in WWII to be auctioned

Bidding at LA auction house to start at $8,000 for fake permit issued by Swedish Embassy in Budapest in September 1944

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter

Raoul Wallenberg (Wikimedia Commons)
Raoul Wallenberg (Wikimedia Commons)

A rare passport signed by Raoul Wallenberg — the man who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary from deportation to the gas chambers — is slated to go under an auctioneer’s hammer in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The passport, issued in Budapest in September 1944, is a “protective” document. This was a fake permit, often accepted as authentic by German and Hungarian authorities, that enabled the holders to claim that they were actually Swedish citizens waiting to go home.

Individuals with protective passports were treated like Swedes and did not have to wear Jewish yellow star badges.

Bidding on the document is expected to start at $8,000, auction house Nate D. Sanders Auctions said in a statement.

Wallenberg, who was caught in 1945 and never seen again, was a Hungarian-speaking Swedish diplomat credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews.

The passport up for auction was issued from Budapest’s Swedish Embassy, where Wallenberg served as a special envoy.

Wallenberg — thought to have died in a Soviet prison soon after the war — was not officially declared dead until October last year.

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