Raoul Wallenberg, thus, can be seen as more than an icon of the Holocaust; he may be seen as the example par excellence of the standard of humane behavior to which the Western world aspires. This of course is put in high relief by his patently unjust fate.
Clearly, Wallenberg is not the only figure from the Holocaust years worthy of our admiration. All the 24,000 Righteous Among the Nations and innumerous Jews who engaged in various forms of resistance and rescue, and maintained their values and basic human dignity, are no less worthy of our esteem. But as a representative of the best in Western civilization, it is fitting and proper that on the centennial of his birth, we remember Wallenberg, learn about him and the context in which he acted, and discuss his deeds and their meaning for us today.
Dr. Robert Rozett is director of the Yad Vashem Libraries.