About Per Anger


Per Johan Valentin Anger was born on 7 December 1913 in Gothenburg, Sweden. After completing his law degree in 1939, he was offered work experience at the Swedish Embassy in Berlin.

Per Anger arrived in wartime Germany in January 1940. Through various contacts, reports reached the Swedish Embassy of the imminent invasion of Denmark and Norway – an invasion which might also involve Sweden. He was given the task of sending encrypted warning messages to Sweden; warnings which only generated a severely restricted mobilisation of Swedish forces. On 12 June 1942, Per Anger was appointed attaché to the Swedish Embassy in Budapest. When Germany invaded Hungary in the spring of 1944, he witnessed a dramatic change from relative peace and tranquillity to open oppression. The most extreme expression of this oppression was the deportation of the Jewish population to Auschwitz.

Per Anger initiated Swedish efforts to save as many people as possible from persecution and execution. He began by issuing provisional Swedish passports - documents without any formal legitimacy - which functioned as a kind of identity card for the authorities and protected a great many people. This work continued under ever more dangerous circumstances until the Russian army occupied the country. After the war, Per Anger dedicated much of his energy to the search for Raoul Wallenberg, convinced that he was held in Russian captivity.

During his diplomatic career Per Anger was ambassador to a number of countries, including Australia and Canada.

Per Anger died in Stockholm on 25 August 2002, aged 88.

The Per Anger Prize was instituted in 2004 by the Swedish Government to honour the memory of ambassador Per Anger and is awarded for humanitarian work and initiatives in the name of Democracy. The prize is awarded to individuals or groups who have distinguished themselves either in the past or in more recent times.