The Courage to Defy
“So what can we do? They were queuing up outside the embassies, pleading for help… What could we do? There was nothing in our books of instructions telling us how we could save people of other nationalities…” Per Anger, Swedish diplomat in German occupied Hungary.
Per Anger, a Swedish career diplomat, was first faced with Nazi Germany’s persecution of the Jews when, in 1940, he was stationed in the Swedish Embassy in Berlin. In January 1942 he was appointed second secretary at the Swedish Legation in Budapest, Hungary. After the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Anger began to be involved in rescue operations of Jews together with Raoul Wallenberg. Under Wallenberg’s leadership a network of protective houses with welfare and healthcare facilities was established. When the Arrow Cross movement seized power in October 1944 and instilled a reign of terror, Anger, Wallenberg and some of his colleagues abandoned all diplomatic routine and set out to save Jews from death marches and executions, providing them with Swedish documents - although they had no connection to Sweden - following the columns of the death marches and freeing Jews by claiming they were under Swedish protection, etc.
On April 28, 1981, Yad Vashem recognized Per Anger as Righteous Among the Nations.