[112th Congress Public Law 148]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

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Public Law 112-148
112th Congress

                                 An Act

To award a Congressional Gold Medal to Raoul Wallenberg, in recognition 
           of his achievements and heroic actions during the 
           Holocaust. <<NOTE: July 26, 2012 -  [H.R. 3001]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Raoul Wallenberg 
Centennial Celebration Act.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 31 USC 5111 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Raoul Wallenberg Centennial 
Celebration Act''.

    The Congress finds as follows:
            (1) Raoul Wallenberg was born in Europe on August 4, 1912, 
        to Swedish Christian parents.
            (2) In 1935, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 
        Ann Arbor, completing a five-year program in three-and-a-half 
            (3) In a letter to his grandfather, Wallenberg wrote of his 
        time in America: ``I feel so at home in my little Ann Arbor that 
        I'm beginning to sink down roots here and have a hard time 
        imagining my leaving it. . . . Every now and then I feel strange 
        when I think about how tiny my own country is and how large and 
        wonderful America is.''.
            (4) Raoul returned to Sweden, where he began a career as a 
        businessman, and afterwards, a Swedish diplomat.
            (5) In 1936, Raoul's grandfather arranged a position for him 
        at the Holland Bank in Haifa, Palestine. There Raoul began to 
        meet young Jews who had already been forced to flee from Nazi 
        persecution in Germany. Their stories affected him deeply.
            (6) He was greatly troubled by the fate of Jews in Europe, 
        confiding to actress Viveca Lindfors the horrific plight of Jews 
        under Nazi Europe.
            (7) Under the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 
        the War Refugee Board was established in January 1944 to aid 
        civilians that fell victim to the Nazi and Axis powers in 
            (8) One of War Refugee Board's top priorities was protection 
        of the 750,000 Hungarian Jews still alive.
            (9) It was decided that Raoul Wallenberg, aged 31 at the 
        time, would be most effective in protecting Jews and victims of 
        the Nazis in Hungary under the War Refugee Board. He was 
        recruited by Iver Olsen, an agent for the Office of Strategic 
        Services and sent to Budapest, Hungary, under his official 
        profession as a Swedish diplomat. He was instructed to use

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        passports and other creative means to save as many lives as 
            (10) Wallenberg created a new Swedish passport, the 
        Schutzpass, which looked more imposing and official than the 
        actual Swedish passport. He reportedly put up huge place cards 
        of it throughout Budapest to make the Nazis familiar with it. He 
        unilaterally announced that it granted the holder immunity from 
        the death camps. The Schutzpasses alone are credited with saving 
        20,000 Jewish lives.
            (11) In one example of his heroism, Wallenberg was told of a 
        Nazi plot to round up several thousand Jewish women and acted 
        swiftly to save them. Former Wallenberg staffer, Agnes Adachi, 
        recalls the time when she and other staff, spent the whole night 
        making around 2,000 Schutzpasses before 6 a.m. They were all 
        completed and personally delivered to the women in time to save 
        their lives.
            (12) Using the money the United States put into the War 
        Refugee Board, Wallenberg was able to purchase about thirty 
        buildings, which he used as hospitals, schools, soup kitchens, 
        and safe houses for over 8,000 children whose parents have 
        already been deported or killed.
            (13) Tommy Lapid, a young boy who was staying with his 
        mother in a Swedish safe house (his father was already dead), 
        gave an eyewitness account of how his family was helped by 
        Wallenberg and the War Refugee Board: ``One morning, a group of 
        Hungarian Fascists came into the house and said that all the 
        able-bodied women must go with them. We knew what this meant. My 
        mother kissed me and I cried and she cried. We knew we were 
        parting forever and she left me there, an orphan to all intents 
        and purposes. Then two or three hours later, to my amazement, my 
        mother returned with the other women. It seemed like a mirage, a 
        miracle. My mother was there--she was alive and she was hugging 
        me and kissing me, and she said one word: Wallenberg.''.
            (14) Even as the war was coming to a close, Wallenberg 
        remained vigilant and attentive to the people under his care. 
        Adolf Eichmann, the SS colonel charged with the extermination of 
        Jews in Eastern Europe, was determined to exterminate the 70,000 
        Jews kept as prisoners in a guarded ghetto in Budapest. As soon 
        as Wallenberg heard of the plot, he sent Pal Szalay, an Arrow-
        Crossman senior official, who defected and turned to Wallenberg. 
        Szalay was sent to speak to General Schmidthuber, who was 
        ordered to spearhead the ghetto extermination in Budapest. 
        Szalay informed Schmidthuber that, seeing as the war was coming 
        to an end, if the planned massacre took place, Wallenberg would 
        see to it personally that Schmidthuber would be prosecuted as a 
        war criminal and hanged. The plans were ultimately abandoned and 
        considered Wallenberg's last big victory.
            (15) Of the 120,000 Hungarian Jews that survived, Raoul 
        Wallenberg, acting under the War Refugee Board, is credited with 
        saving an estimated 100,000 of them in a six-month period.
            (16) Raoul Wallenberg's fate remains a mystery. In January 
        13, 1945, he contacted the Russians in an effort to secure food 
        for the Jews under his protection--as he was still working hard 
        to protect them.

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            (17) In 1981, President Ronald Reagan made Raoul Wallenberg 
        an honorary citizen of the United States, an honor only 
        previously extended to Winston Churchill.
            (18) These findings show that Raoul Wallenberg showed 
        exceptional heroism and bravery with his actions during the 
        holocaust. Working with the War Refugee Board, a United State's 
        agency, he was able to save about 100,000 Hungarian Jews, many 
        of which were later able to immigrate to the United States.
            (19) Indeed, hundreds of thousands of American Jews can 
        directly or indirectly attribute their own lives to Raoul 
        Wallenberg's actions during World War II. Many of the people 
        Wallenberg saved have been influential citizens contributing to 
        American institutions and culture, including Congressman Tom 
        Lantos (February 1, 1928-February 11, 2008), Annette Lantos, and 
        the Liska Rebbe, Rabbi Yoizef (Joseph) Friedlander, who carried 
        forth the Liska Hassidic dynasty from Hungary to the United 
        States after being saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
            (20) His actions and character make him an excellent 
        contender for a Congressional Gold Medal in time for the 
        centennial of his birth, to celebrate his achievements and 
        humanitarian accomplishments.

    (a) Presentation Authorized.--The Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make 
appropriate arrangements for the presentation, on behalf of the 
Congress, of a gold medal of appropriate design to the next of kin or 
personal representative of Raoul Wallenberg, in recognition of his 
achievements and heroic actions during the Holocaust.
    (b) Design and Striking.--For the purpose of the presentation 
referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury shall 
strike a gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions to 
be determined by the Secretary.

    Under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may 
prescribe, the Secretary may strike duplicate medals in bronze of the 
gold medal struck pursuant to section 3 and sell such duplicate medals 
at a price sufficient to cover the costs of the duplicate medals 
(including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses) 
and the cost of the gold medal.

    (a) National Medals.--The medals struck pursuant to this Act are 
national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States 
    (b) Numismatic Items.--For purposes of section 5134 of title 31, 
United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be considered 
to be numismatic items.

    (a) Authorization of Charges.--There is authorized to be charged 
against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund, such amounts as 
may be necessary to pay for the costs of the medals struck pursuant to 
this Act.

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    (b) Proceeds of Sale.--Amounts received from the sale of duplicate 
bronze medals under section 4 shall be deposited in the United States 
Mint Public Enterprise Fund.

    Approved July 26, 2012.


            Apr. 16, considered and passed House.
            July 11, considered and passed Senate.