WASHINGTON — Swedish–born businessman and diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal today during a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
The medal was designed and prepared by the United States Mint in accordance with Public Law 112–148 in recognition of Wallenberg’s achievements and heroic actions during the Holocaust.
Raoul Wallenberg was born August 4, 1912. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he pursued a career as a businessman in Sweden, and later became a Swedish diplomat. While employed at the Holland Bank, Wallenberg met young Jews who had been forced to flee from Nazi persecution in Germany. Working with the War Refugee Board, he helped save more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, many of whom later immigrated to the United States. Today, hundreds of thousands of American Jews can directly or indirectly attribute their own lives to Wallenberg’s heroic actions.
The medal’s obverse (heads side) design, by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Don Everhart, features a close–up portrait of Wallenberg with the inscriptions RAOUL WALLENBERG, ACT OF CONGRESS 2012, and HERO OF HEROES.
The medal’s reverse (tails side) design is by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The design depicts Wallenberg’s view as he extends a Schutz–pass and a background view of those he could not reach being boarded on a train bound for a concentration camp. Inscriptions are HE LIVES ON FOREVER THROUGH THOSE HE SAVED around the upper border and ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE beneath the Schutz–pass.
Public Law 112–148, which requires the United States Mint to strike the Congressional Gold Medal for Raoul Wallenberg, also authorizes the bureau to strike and sell bronze reproductions of the medal. The medals will be available for purchase beginning noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) July 10, 2014, via the bureau’s online catalog at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog and at 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers with TTY equipment may call 1–888–321–MINT (6468). The three–inch medal (product code 945) will be priced at $39.95, and the 1.5–inch medal (product code 946) will be priced at $6.95.
About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self–sustaining and operate at no cost to the taxpayer.