Scarce DS, in German and Swedish, quickly signed with an ink scribble (as he commonly did on documents of this type), one page, 8.25 x 13.25, September 26, 1944. Blue and gold two-language Schutz-Pass issued to Dr. Alexander Karoly. Upper left provides his personal information including his 1889 birth date, height, eye and hair color. Adjacent to his personal information is Karoly’s signature and area where his photo would have been affixed. Bottom portion bears printed statements in German and Swedish, hastily signed in the lower left corner by Wallenberg, and countersigned by a Swedish minister. In very good condition, with partial tape-repaired separations to central vertical and horizontal folds, some slight paper loss to center and edges, and some small areas of staining to edges. A similar example of Wallenberg’s rushed signature can be found in the book Fleeing from the Fuhrer by William Kaczinski and Charmian Brinson.
Wallenberg arrived in Hungary in July 1944 as the country’s Jewish population was under siege. Nearly every other major Jewish community in Europe had already been decimated, and the Nazis were dispatching more than 10,000 Hungarian Jews to the gas chambers daily. With time of the essence, he devised and distributed thousands of these ‘Schutz-Passes’—official-looking, but essentially invalid, Swedish passports granting the Hungarian bearer immunity from deportation. Nazi officials readily accepted the paperwork.
Thus, with his simple, nondescript scribble on this offered page, Wallenberg saved the life of Alexander Karoly—just as he had done with tens of thousands of other Jews in Hungary. An announcement that any Jew, even those holding foreign citizenship, would be interred led to the urgency of Wallenberg’s plan to save as many lives as he could. An important reminder of one heroic man’s tireless efforts to outwit the Nazis and save countless lives. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.