In keeping with David Oscarson’s tribute to great men and women of history, Bradshaw Forbes is proud to offer you his latest masterpiece, the Raoul Wallenberg Pen.
Righteous among Nations
Raoul Gustav Wallenberg was born into a prominent Swedish family August 4, 1912, and was raised primarily by his paternal grandfather who broadened his education by introducing him to foreign lands, languages and cultures.
During his travels, Raoul was deeply affected by stories he heard from people who had escaped Nazi Germany. In July, 1944, he opened an embassy office which subsequently provided protective passports to 20,000 Jews. These passports, called Schutz Passes protected their bearers from deportation under the Swedish crown. Wallenberg also established safe houses which flew the Swedish flag, identifying them as annexes to the Swedish Embassy and shielding their inhabitants from the Nazis.
Wallenberg was fearless. While befriending, bribing and buying off German officials, he reminded them that “at the war’s end, they would be seen as criminals on the losing end of the battle.” He also personally rescued Jews from deportation trains by appearing at the train yard and handing out Swedish papers to as many as he could reach on board, arguing that all those holding papers should be released. Despite attempts on Wallenberg’s life, he remained resolute in his cause.
In December 1944, on a trip to Debrecen, located 120 miles east of Budapest, Wallenberg and his driver were taken into custody by Soviet forces. The two men were never seen or heard from again by the outside world.
Reports of Wallenberg’s imprisonment by the Soviets were at first denied, but in December 2000, Russia officially admitted Soviet forces had wrongfully held Wallenberg at a Soviet prison, however, the announcement did not provide any details about the cause of the diplomat’s death. It is generally accepted that Wallenberg was executed in 1947 in a Soviet prison.
Raoul Wallenberg has been honored by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, who designated him on of the “Righteous Among Nations.” This memorial honors non-Jewish individuals who risked their lives to save the Jews from Nazi executioners. One of the 600 trees along the Avenue of the Righteous bears the name of Raoul Wallenberg.
The Raoul Wallenberg Pen
A Schutz Pass featuring the likeness and signature of Raoul Wallenberg is featured in low relief on the cap of each Collection piece. On the back of the crown in high relief is the star of David. The unique clip design represents the road that was “winding, dangerous and full of obstacles” as the Jews were trying to escape the Nazis; engraved at its base are three doves in flight.
At the base of each barrel is the Swedish Triple Crown. One of the barrel variations features a repeating star of David motif inspired by the stained glass windows in the Dohany Synagogue in Budapest; the other features Raoul Wallenberg’s signature in high relief as well as the famous quote (in Swedish) by Raoul Wallenberg, which, translated reads: “For me there is no other choice. I have undertaken this duty, and I would never be able to return to Stockholm without knowing within myself that I had done everything within human power to save as many Jews as possible”