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Posted April 23, 2010
This is an early work by this talented Hungarian writer. She is the author of the recent bestseller, "Enemy of the People". Her story of Raoul Wallenberg and the unbelievable work he did to save tens of thousands of Budpest Jews at the close of World War II is a work that should be read by all World Citizens and by our American youth.
The scion of a rich, capitalistic and influential Swedish family, Wallenberg tried to make his way in the later part of the Roaring Twenties and then in the turbulent 1930's by Swedish military service, academic studies, road trips and hitchhiking in the United States. He longed to do something worthy of his family name and to make his uncles and relatives proud of him. It seemed in the final analysis that the world was more proud of him than his stuffy family leaders. Obviously they never got over the particulars of his birth and that is not the basis for an appropriate verdict on the immense good that he did.
How he bedeviled the Nazis in Hungary in late 1944 showing no fear when dealing with monsters like Eichmann or the Hungarian Iron Cross is the true test of his mettle. He tirelessly worked to save Jews in Budapest and this book clearly describes those efforts. It is a thrilling ride with all the makings of a modern spy and adventure tale. Wallenberg can only be faulted for his naivete in assuming that the Soviet victors in eastern Europe would view him as a hero rather than a spy. That is exactly how he was viewed and his incarceration and the deceit of successive Soviet governments in first denying and than falsely stating of his death compounds the tragedy of the Nazi genocide and their fascist collaborators in eastern Europe. Finally the impotence of his rich family, even downright disavowment of him by certain members of his family, coupled with diplomatic blunders by Sweden and the United States cast this whole epic of Wallenberg into another one of the innumerable tragedies of mankind. Never Again. This must always be our watchword.