October 19, 2010

Stockholm Trivia

Many people around the world have heard of Raoul Wallenberg... but not everyone knows that he was born and raised in Stockholm. A Swedish humanitarian and diplomat, he saved tens of thousands of Jews in Hungary during World War II by issuing them protective passports and housing them in 32 different buildings in Budapest established as Swedish territory. He even convinced the Nazis not to go ahead with their plan of a death march of the remaining Jews in Budapest as the Soviet Army neared the city. Sadly, Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviets and sent back to the USSR. He was never seen again and is widely believed to have been either executed or died while in Soviet prison. There is a multitude of memorials to Raoul Wallenberg all over the world and Stockholm has, of course, honoured her son as well. There are two memorials/monuments located on Roul Wallenberg Square next to Berzelii Park. One monument is abstract, showing figures rising from the ground. The other is a granite globe that is connected to the Great Synagogue of Stockholm with a symbolic railway track. The closest subway station is Kungsträdgården (blue line).
The Wallenberg family is one of the most powerful families in Sweden. In 1990 it was estimated that the Wallenbergs indirectly controlled 1/3 of the Swedish GNP. There is actually a popular Swedish dish named after Raoul's relative called a Wallenbergare. If you would like to try this, then you don't have to travel farther than Rival's own Bistro where they make one of Stockholm's most delicious Wallenbergare!
Click here for more Stockholm trivia.

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