Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published September 4, 2013 at 8:15 PM | Page modified September 5, 2013 at 5:54 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (10)
  • Print

Obama, in Sweden, likens U.S. quest to Wallenberg’s effort to save Jews

President Obama compared Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat and businessman who rescued thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary, to responding to Syria’s crisis.

Seattle Times news services

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
...Obama drew parallels between the actions of a Swedish diplomat who saved Jews during... MORE
Obama should just stay in Sweden. He can be our gift to the "international... MORE
OBAMA = CLOWN MORE

advertising

STOCKHOLM — On his first presidential visit to Sweden, President Obama drew parallels between the actions of a Swedish diplomat who saved Jews during the Holocaust and the action he wants the world to take to help Syria’s people.

During a visit to Stockholm’s Great Synagogue, he examined artifacts related to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat and businessman who rescued thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary.

On the first night of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, Obama paid tribute to Wallenberg in brief comments.

“Because he refused to stand by, Wallenberg reminds us of our power when we choose, not simply to bear witness, but also to act,” he said.

Obama is trying to rally the world to retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of deadly gases against his people in the country’s civil war.

Wallenberg is credited with saving at least 20,000 Jews during the Holocaust. He disappeared after his arrest by Soviet forces in 1945.

Obama arrived in Sweden on Wednesday for a last-minute, but first-ever, presidential visit to this Scandinavian capital.

Obama visited on an unusually sunny day and was greeted by large crowds of spectators as he zipped through meetings, the synagogue visit and an evening of diplomacy on his way to a meeting of the Group of 20 major economies in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Swedish stopover was added to the president’s schedule after Obama’s earlier plans fell through. Last month, the White House canceled a Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the ugly extradition fight over former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and a year of dead-end diplomacy had left U.S.-Russian relations so stuck that there was little hope for quick progress. Putin’s loss became Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s gain.

An afternoon news conference with Reinfeldt was dominated by the crisis in Syria, and Reinfeldt, a moderate up for re-election next year, said he believed holding Assad to account for his alleged use of nerve gas in the Damascus suburbs was best handled by the United Nations.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The summer is wide open.

The summer is wide open.

Follow our three-part "Washington's National Parks" series running through August 10 for an in-depth look at some of our local treasures.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►