Letter from our Founder
The 30th of August has been declared International Day of the Disappeared. Perhaps the best known of the disappeared is Raoul Wallenberg. What renders Wallenberg’s case so singular is that he disappeared after having risked his life to prevent tens of thousands of individuals from becoming disappeared themselves.
More than 24,000 people from all over the world already joined our ongoing campaign, ”100,000 names for 100,000 lives”. We have set the goal of collecting one signature for each of the 100,000 people saved by Wallenberg, which will be sent to President Putin of Russia as we demand that he finally let the truth of Wallenberg’s fate be known. Sign the petition.
While we continue the search for this disappeared hero, we remember every disappeared person and call on the international community to follow Wallenberg’s exemplary actions of values of humanitarianism, civic responsibility and solidarity.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF)
Upcoming Dates and Events
- September 5: Raoul Wallenberg Exhibit, Moscow, Russia. The exhibit ”Raoul Wallenberg – One man can make a difference” will open in Moscow accompanied by a pedagogical seminar and a series of lectures on the life and actions of the Swedish diplomat. The exhibit will be on display at the Sakharov Museum and Center until October 21.
- September 5: Ben Olander at R.W. Academy for Young Leaders, Stockholm Gymnasieskola, Sweden. Swedish folk musician Ben Olander will discuss the Holocaust and present Raoul Wallenberg, as an example of courage and what one person can do to prevent harassment and genocide.
- September 22: Raoul Wallenberg Opera, Tallin, Estonia. The Estonian National Opera in Tallinn will present the opening of ”Wallenberg” on September 22nd, 2007 at 19.00. Erkki-Sven Tuuri’s opera is an original Estonian stage performance that has earned international recognition.
- September 21: International Day of Peace. Established by the United Nations in 1981. In 2002, the UN General Assembly set 21 September as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.
Recent Events and Activities
- The IRWF participated in the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus Special Briefing on Raoul Wallenberg. The briefing included a screening about Raoul Wallenberg from ”60 Minutes” and counted with the presence of Mrs. Annette Lantos, rescued by Mr. Wallenberg, wife of Congressman Tom Lantos. IRWF representative Kayla Kaufman spoke of Raoul Wallenberg and of the personal story of her rescue.
- On August 4th, we commemorated Raoul Wallenberg’s 95th birthday through a variety of events that celebrate his legacy:
- Volunteers and staff of the Foundation visited the Wallenberg Monument Hope in front of the United Nations, where they laid flowers aside the monument.
- At Camp Young Judea in New Hampshire, children performed scenes from Raoul Wallenberg’s life. Some told the stories of survival of their own grandparents, many saved by anonymous rescuers. Wayne Goldstein of camp Young Judea concluded that ”if of all the Judaic program at the camp the one thing the children take with them is the notion that, like Wallenberg, they can make a difference and should not stay silent when faced with injustice, I am very happy.”
- Children aged 8-10 at the Manhattan JCC Summer Camp were treated to a celebration during which they participated in a dramatization of Wallenberg’s life, decorated a banner declaring ”Happy Birthday Wallenberg”, designed and wrote about their own ideas of what a ‘hero’ might be.
- The IRWF participated of the renowned Argentinean TV Show ”Lunch with Mirtha Legrand” on August 2nd, days before Wallenberg’s Birthday and the official Wallenberg Day, as proclaimed by the Legislative body of the City of Buenos Aires.
- The annual campaign to ask US Governors to proclaim October 5th as Raoul Wallenberg Day in their States is on its way. Governors of Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan already proclaimed a 2007 Wallenberg Day. In previous years, Governors of Minnesota, West Virginia, New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, Maine, Connecticut and Maryland followed our request. We invite you to ask your governor to proclaim Raoul Wallenberg Day.
- A team of representatives and volunteers from the IRWF visited the Nachas Health and Family Network in Brooklyn to interview Holocaust survivors that met or were saved by Raoul Wallenberg. The testimonies are being compiled for the IRWF’s new project, ”Documenting Wallenberg: An Archive of Testimonials”.
The goal of the project is to create an archive of stories relating to Wallenberg’s legacy. So far, interviews are being conducted by volunteers in the United States, Israel, Argentina, Germany, Peru and Sweden, among other countries. If you were saved by, worked with or knew Raoul Wallenberg; if you know a survivor who was in Budapest in 1944 or 1945; or if you wish to volunteer or contribute, contact us.
- The IRWF launched a concentrated effort to write letters to the editor to raise awareness to Raoul Wallenberg’s acts and have volunteers dedicated to this task. Yo can read the letters published in the New York Sun and in the Belfast Telegraph.