SVT is set to begin production on six-part historical drama Raoul, based on Ingrid Carlberg’s August Prize winning biography about diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, dubbed the Swedish Schindler for the part he played in saving thousands of Jewish lives during World War II.
Raoul was born into the powerful Wallenberg family but never included in its business affairs. Rather, he was a carefree and socially gifted man who joked about how cowardly he was but, when confronted with the cruelty of the Nazi regime, he chose to make a difference and showed tremendous courage.
When Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, Raoul was sent on a rescue mission to protect the Jewish people, driven not only by compassion but also the hope of a position in the Wallenberg Empire if he succeeded. In just a few months, Raoul saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews but the price he paid was high. At the end of the war, he was arrested by Soviet authorities and disappeared.
Scriptwriters Jesper Harrie, Måns Herngren and Carl-Johan Vallgren, said: “The story of Raoul shows what we can achieve when we follow our compassion and belief that all men are created equal. But Raoul, who refused to abandon his fellowmen, was himself abandoned by his country and by the Wallenberg family. This gives more dramatic dimensions to the story.”
SVT Head of Drama, Anna Croneman, added: “This is an incredibly strong story about humanity. But most of all, it is a story about how an individual, with great civil courage, could mean so much to the fate of so many people. What can be more relevant today than to tell just that?”
Raoul, directed by Måns Herngren, begins filming in 2022.