Albert Durko receives Raoul Wallenberg Award

The Rev. Albert Durko, President of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International, nominated by Mr. Zoltan Balog, Hungarian Minister of Human Capacities, and the senior leaders of HGMI, received the Raoul Wallenberg Award on January 19, 2015.

For an exemplary life and ministry of fighting against discrimination, helping the underprivileged and disadvantaged, and contributing towards the exercising of human rights and citizenship rights provided by law in Hungary, Mr. Zoltan Balog, Hungarian Minister of Human Capacities, and the senior leaders of HGMI had nominated Albert Durko for the 2015 Raoul Wallenberg Award. The Award Committee found the nomination well-founded and selected him to be one of the Award recipients.

The laudation states that ?the leader of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International believes that through mutual acceptance everybody can help decrease the tensions in society and find the path to enriching others.?

The award ceremony, titled ?Raoul Wallenberg ? Each Action Counts? and held on January 19, 2015, commemorated the 70th anniversary of Wallenberg?s detention by the Soviet Red Army. The diplomat was never publicly seen afterwards and reportedly died imprisoned in Moscow on July 17, 1947. The joint awards of the Raoul Wallenberg Association, the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, the Ministry of Human Capacities and the National Association of Local Authorities are given to people and organizations that, in one way or another, follow in the footsteps of the Swedish humanitarian. This year, five people and two organizations were awarded.

Ceremony participants and speakers included H. E. Mr. Niclas Trouvé, Embassador of Sweden, Mr. Michael Wernstedt, Executive Director of the Swedish Raoul Wallenberg Academy, Mr. Urban Christian Ahlin, Speaker of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament), Mr. Emir Selimi, Artist & Roma Rights Activist, Dr. Marta Matrai, First Officer of the Hungarian National Assembly, Mr. Szabolcs Takacs, Minister of State for European Affairs (Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities), and Dr. Bence Retvari, Parliamentary State Secretary (Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities).

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Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg (4 August 1912 ? disappeared 17 January 1945) was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for saving tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from Hungarian Fascists and the Nazis during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden?s special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory. (Wikipedia: Raoul Wallenberg)