This has been a year of encounters.
We have organized a Wallenberg’s survivors reunion, where old friends saw each other for the first time since living in Budapest more than sixty years ago.
We have also reunited a Jewish survivor and her family with the living relatives of a Polish woman who saved her life more than sixty five years ago..
This has been a year of lessons, both taught and learned.
Thousands of students were touched by our educational programs, which were expanded to Israel and include Eli Yossef’s play narrating Wallenberg’s story, ”Heart of Stone, Heart of Flesh.”
The play is also one of the many new e-books published by the Foundation. The collection includes titles in English, German, French, German, and Spanish.
Our Foundation is working hard to unearth and divulge more rescue stories, instilling the rescuers’ values of solidarity to youngsters and adults alike.
We have also engaged in film screenings, such as the annual film marathon ”Savior on the Screen,” exhibits -such as ”Austrian Rescuers,”- book presentations, tributes, and other events generate awareness among adult audiences.
This has been a year of advocacy.
In addition to reaching the general public, the Foundation worked toward Wallenberg’s recognition at an official level.
Ten U.S. States joined the Foundation’s campaign to proclaim ”Wallenberg Days” in their territory, and local organizations have instituted events for their constituents following our suggestions.
Following extensive research and documentation conducted by our team, several cases were presented to Yad Vashem for official recognition; including that of Karolina and Zsuzsanna Reszeli, who were declared ”Righteous Among the Nations” this week.
Unfortunately, this has also been a year of loss. Despite his advanced age, the death of Guy von Dardel (Raoul Wallenberg’s brother) seems premature.
After devoting his life to campaign for his disappeared brother, von Dardel died without achieving his lifelong dream of bringing Raoul home. We are committed to follow his steps.
These activities were possible thanks to your contributions. We need your support to carry on this important work.
Founder and International Chairman
We need your help to carry on this important work
Karolina and Zsuzsanna Reszeli Declared ”Righteous Among The Nations”
Karolina Reszeli and her late mother Zsuzsanna were declared ”Righteous among the Nations,” the highest honor bestowed by Yad Vashem, the ”Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.”
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) documented the Reszeli dossier and presented it to Yad Vashem at the end of 2008, with a strong recommendation to have both women declared Righteous Among The Nations.
On October 27, 2008, the IRWF distinguished Karolina and Zsuzsanna Reszeli in an event organized at the John Wesley Theological College in Budapest. Two medals were presented to the Reszelis at the event: The Raoul Wallenberg Medal and The Esfira Maiman Women Rescuers Medal and their respective diplomas.
Wallenberg Foundation Opens Cultural Space
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, together with Casa Argentina en Israel – Tierra Santa, inaugurated a cultural space dedicated to the promotion of the values that inspired the actions of Raoul Wallenberg and other Rescuers of the Holocaust through artistic and cultural endeavors.
Located in the ground floor of the Foundation’s New York headquarters, the Cultural Space opened with the exhibit ”Heroes” by American artist Ann Froman. Her creations include ”Survival,” a piece that pays tribute to Wallenberg himself.
Future exhibits include sculptures by Wallenberg Survivors who draw from their experiences during the Holocaust to create their pieces, as well as works from the Foundation’s permanent collection such as Peter Malkin’s portrait ”Raoul Wallenberg.”
The Foundation is planning to supply the space with a media room where visitors will be able to experience the many oral history audiovisual interviews produced and collected by the organization through its initiative ”Documenting Wallenberg: An Archive of Testimonials.”
An archive, lectures, after school classes, screenings, and other weekly programs are some of the many ideas being considering for 2010.
The Foundation accepts donations of books, documents, and art to furnish the space.
Art Donation to the IRWF
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has been selected to receive a donation of fourteen paintings by Austro-Canadian artist Armand Frederick Vallée.
The paintings composed the series ”Wallenberg” and narrate Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg’s quest to save persecuted people in 1944 Budapest. Following the artist’s passing earlier this year, Liesel Paris, trustee of Mr. Vallée’s estate, contacted the Wallenberg Foundation with the decision.
Armand Vallée’s remarkable work is found in museums, galleries, and major corporate and private collections throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and North Africa. Some of his series of paintings have received special recognition, including honors in the fields of Education and Human Rights.
Wallenberg Survivors Support the IRWF
He had the kindest blue eyes,” remembers Rebbetzin Judith Friedlander of Raoul Wallenberg.
Judith was 8 years old when her father, Solomon Friedlander, the Lisker Rabbi, took her along to a meeting with the Swedish diplomat to arrange for the acquisition of Schutz-Passes for his people.
Wallenberg was only able to give them one document at the time. Far from discouraged, the Lisker Rabbi put his printer to work and duplicated the document to furnish the rest of his congregation.
Judith’s collaboration with the Wallenberg Foundation started with her testimony for the Foundation’s oral history project, ”Documenting Wallenberg,” where she told her story of rescue.
Since then, she has been an active participant of Survivors reunions and other activities organized by the Foundation.
Judith is extending her involvement by sharing her experiences and spreading Wallenberg’s legacy to her congregation, ”I want to tell the story because it should be carried on and be taught,” she concludes.