The University Record, October 16, 1995

Life-long friend of Wallenberg to give annual lecture

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

 Former Swedish ambassador Per Anger, who helped his life-long friend Raoul Wallenberg save the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II, will deliver the sixth annual University Wallenberg Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Rackham Building Auditorium.

Anger, whose free, public talk is titled "The Fate of Raoul Wallenberg," will recount his experiences with Wallenberg in Nazi-occupied Hungary and as a member of the international committee that met with Russian officials to discuss the fate of Wallenberg after he was taken prisoner by Russian troops in 1945.

He also will receive the Raoul Wallenberg Medal, established in honor of the U-M alumnus who, as a Swedish diplomat in Budapest in 1944, bargained with Nazi officials for Jewish lives, established safehouses, distributed false passports, disguised Jews in Nazi uniforms and set up checkpoints to avert deportations.

"In choosing University Wallenberg Lecturers, we have traditionally sought out individuals who can serve as role models for faculty, students, staff and members of the community," says Elaine Didier, chair of the selection committee and associate dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

"Since 1995 marks the 50th anniversary of Wallenberg's disappearance and of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, it is particularly fitting that this year's lecturer be someone who knew Wallenberg well and who worked side-by-side with him in helping save the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews."

Anger, who was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1913, joined the Swedish Foreign Service in 1940 after receiving a law degree from the University of Uppsala. He was sent to Berlin that same year and from 1942 to 1945 served in Budapest, where he worked closely with Wallenberg, who had been appointed Secretary of Legation in the Swedish Budapest mission.

A career diplomat, Anger held posts in Addis Ababa, Cairo, Paris, San Francisco and Vienna before becoming ambassador to Australia in 1970 and to Canada in 1976. He retired in 1979.

In 1981, Anger published With Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest, a moving account of his war-time experiences in Hungary.

Established in 1985, the Wallenberg Endowment funds the annual lecture and medal presentation, and provides support each year for doctoral students whose scholarly work is related to the goals and values of the lectureship. The endowment is made possible through the contributions of nearly 500 individuals and organizations in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Previous recipients of the Raoul Wallenberg Medal are Nobel-laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel; Jan Karski, courier for the Polish underground resistance during World War II and an early witness to the Holocaust; Helen Suzman, a long-time South African legislator and crusader against apartheid; Buddhist leader Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and Nobel Peace Prize winner; and Miep Gies, the woman who helped care for Anne Frank and her family while they hid from the Nazis during World War II.

For more information on the University Wallenberg Lecture, call Vi Benner, 747-4566.