H.M. Konungens tal vid Department of Treasury

Washington, DC

(Det talade ordet gäller)

Secretary Lew,
Your Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world joined Sweden in 2012 in a year-long celebration of the life of Raoul Wallenberg.

"The Swedish diplomat who chose not to be indifferent when faced with great evil," as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Sweden's Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt wrote in a joint article in the New York Times.

Representatives of the Swedish and American governments honoured Raoul Wallenberg with a ceremony in the Rotunda of Congress on Holocaust Memorial Day.

President Obama spoke warm words on behalf of the American Nation, which had supported Raoul Wallenberg's work, both politically and financially.

Raoul Wallenberg's family, who are represented here today, never gave up their fight for his release and the quest for the truth about his fate.

To fully understand Wallenberg's endeavour, it is important to remember that Wallenberg and the Swedish delegation were not primarily working on behalf of either Swedish or American state interests.

They had been sent to Hungary trying to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

They succeeded in saving the lives of thousands of people, because they were convinced that their efforts could make a difference.

The Swedish memorial exhibition "to me, there's no other choice" is a reminder that Wallenberg acted, without concern for his own safety, tirelessly, to save thousands, from certain death.

About thirty years ago, in 1981, the United States awarded Raoul Wallenberg an honorary American citizenship in recognition of his work and hardship. Also, because Raoul Wallenberg fought for values that are cherished in both Sweden and the United States.

I think one could say that his mission was an example of American-Swedish cooperation for the common good.

And last spring, the United States Congress awarded Raoul Wallenberg the Congressional Gold Medal in “recognition of his achievements and heroic actions during the Holocaust".

We are all proud of Raoul Wallenberg's legacy. Because therein lies the lesson for generations to come. We are passing along an example of the values that should guide the way we live our lives.

It is therefore an honour for the Queen and me to be here today as we are gathered to take part in the unveiling of the Congressional Gold medal.

Thank you.