Per Anger

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Per Johan Valentin Anger
Born (1913-12-07)7 December 1913
Died 25 August 2002(2002-08-25) (aged 88)
Nationality Swedish
Alma mater Stockholm University
Uppsala University
Occupation diplomat
Years active 1940 to 1979
Known for Assisting Raoul Wallenberg in the rescue of Hungarian Jews from Nazis in World War II
Spouse(s) Elena Wikstrom Anger
Children Birgitta Anger
Parent(s) David and Elsa Anger

Per Johan Valentin Anger (7 December 1913 – 25 August 2002) was a Swedish diplomat. Anger was Raoul Wallenberg's co-worker at the Swedish legation in Budapest during World War II when many Jews were saved because they were supplied with Swedish passports. After the war, he spent a lot of time trying to clarify Wallenberg's fate.

Early career and World War II

Born in Gothenburg, Anger studied law at Stockholm University and later at Uppsala University. After graduating in November 1939, he was drafted into the Army. Soon afterwards, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs offered him a trainee position at the Swedish legation in Berlin, which he began in January 1940. Anger was assigned to the trade department, but after the legation received information about an impending Nazi attack on Norway and Denmark, he became involved in relaying intelligence to Stockholm. In June 1941, he returned to Stockholm, where he worked on trade relations between Sweden and Hungary. In November 1942, he was sent to Budapest as Second Secretary at the Swedish legation.[1]

After Germany invaded Hungary on 19 March 1944, Anger became involved in efforts to aid Hungarian Jews. Anger originated the idea of issuing Swedish provisional passports and special certificates to protect Jews from internment and deportation. Seven hundred of these documents were issued initially. Although the legality of the documents was doubtful, the Hungarian government agreed to recognize their bearers as Swedish citizens. On 9 July, Raoul Wallenberg arrived in Budapest.[2] He immediately extended Anger's initiative, introducing colorful protective passes (Schutzpasse) and creating "safe houses" throughout the city. Anger and Wallenberg worked together, often literally snatching people from transports and death marches. After the Soviets invaded in January 1945, both Anger and Wallenberg were taken into custody. Anger was released three months later, but Wallenberg never emerged again, becoming one of the 20th century's most famous missing persons.[3]

Later career

After the war, Anger served in numerous diplomatic posts in Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Austria and the United States. He later became head of Sweden's international aid program and served as ambassador to Australia, Canada and the Bahamas. Throughout his post-war career, Anger led efforts to learn what happened to Wallenberg, even meeting personally with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. In 2000, the Russian government finally acknowledged that Wallenberg and his driver died in Soviet custody in 1947, although the exact circumstances of their deaths remain unclear.

Anger died in Stockholm after suffering a stroke.[4]


In 1982, Anger was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations[5] and in 1995 he was honored with the Hungarian Republic's Order of Merit.

In 1995, Anger was awarded the Wallenberg Medal by the University of Michigan in recognition of his extraordinary courage and humanitarian commitment.

In 2000, he was awarded honorary Israeli citizenship. In 2001, the American Swedish Historical Museum presented him with the Spirit of Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award.

In April, 2002 Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson awarded Anger the Illis Quorum Meruere Labores (For Those Whose Labors Have Deserved It) for his actions during and after the war. This is the highest award that can be conferred upon an individual Swedish citizen by the Government of Sweden.

Per Anger Prize

The Per Anger Prize was instituted by the Swedish Government to honor the memory of ambassador Per Anger and is awarded for humanitarian work and initiatives in the name of democracy. The prize is awarded to individuals or groups who have distinguished themselves either in the past or in more recent times.[6]

Prize Winners

Name Year Awarded Reason
Gennaro Verolino 2004 Saved over 30,000 Jews from the Holocaust[7]
Arsen Sakalov 2005 Documenting abuses in the republic of Chechnya
Ales Bialiatski 2006 Publicly struggling for human rights
Yolanda Becerra 2007 Defying armed force in an intimidating environment, in order to

strengthen the voices that risk being silenced

Sebastian Bakare 2008 Fighting against oppression and for freedom of speech
Brahim Dahane 2009 Struggle for human rights during the conflict between Morocco and

Western Sahara

Elena Urlaeva 2010 Human rights activist in a hostile environment
Narges Mohammadi 2011 Publicly struggling for human rights and the freedom of women in Iran
Sapiyat Magomedova 2012 Human rights lawyer in a violent and risky environment
Justine Ijeomah 2013 Fights for the poor and poorly educated, and for doggedly working to

abolish the death penalty

Rita Mahato 2014 Struggle against sexual violence aimed towards women and girls
Islena Rey Rodríguez 2015 Human rights activist in a hostile environment
Abdullah al-Khateeb 2016 Spokesperson and peaceful protester for human

rights in Syria

Gégé Katana Bukuru 2017 Fighting for women's rights and against sexual violence[8]
Teodora del Carmen Vásquez 2018 Fighting for women's right to sexual and reproductive health in El Salvador[9]

See also


  1. ^ Per Anger. Swedish diplomat who, along with Raoul Wallenberg, saved thousands of Jews from Nazi death camps (The Guardian, 29 August 2002)
  2. ^ " Per Anger Secretary of the Swedish Legation in Budapest, Hungary, 1944-45", The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
  3. ^ Per Anger, Co-saviour with Raoul Wallenberg of Hungarian Jews ( August 30, 2002)
  4. ^ Per Anger, 88, a Diplomat Who Helped Jews, Is Dead (New York Times. August 29, 2002)
  5. ^ Per Anger - his activity to save Jews' lives during the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem website
  6. ^ Forum För Levande Historia
  7. ^ Antonio Pintauro. "Diocesi di Acerra - Una scuola a Budapest per Verolino". Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  8. ^ Forum For Living History
  9. ^ "Teodora del Carmen Vásquez får Per Anger-priset 2018". Forum för levande historia (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-10-11.

Other sources

  • Skoglund, Elisabeth R. A Quiet Courage -- Per Anger, Wallenberg's Co-Liberator of Hungarian Jews. (published by Baker Books. 1997)

External links

  • Jewish Virtual Library
  • Per Anger award
  • Per Anger - Holocaust Heroes Budapest
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Manne Lindholm
Consul general of Sweden in San Francisco
Succeeded by
Carl Henrik Petersén
Preceded by
Gösta af Petersens
Ambassador of Sweden to Australia
Succeeded by
Per Lind
Preceded by
Åke Malmaeus
Ambassador of Sweden to Canada
Succeeded by
Kaj Björk
Preceded by
Ambassador of Sweden to The Bahamas
Succeeded by
Kaj Björk
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