Obama draws parallels between Wallenberg, Syria

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Nina Lagergren, right, sister of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, view Wallenberg's Swedish passport and samples of the many thousands of protective passports Wallenberg issued to Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary in 1944-45 at a ceremony in Stockholm's synagogue Wednesday Sept. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Claudio Bresciani) SWEDEN OUT

STOCKHOLM (AP) — President Barack Obama is drawing parallels between the actions of a Swedish diplomat who saved Jews during the Holocaust and the action he wants the world to take to help Syria's people.

On his first presidential visit to Sweden, Obama said Raoul Wallenberg's actions are a reminder "of our power not simply to bear witness, but also to act."

Obama is trying to rally the world to retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR' AH'-sahd) for his alleged use of deadly gases against his people in the country's civil war.

Obama spoke Wednesday after visiting the Great Synagogue of Stockholm and examining artifacts related to Wallenberg.

Wallenberg is credited with saving at least 20,000 Jews during the Holocaust. He disappeared after his arrest by Soviet forces in 1945.