June 2010

New Raoul Wallenberg Day Proclamations

Following an initiative of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Iowa Governor Chester J. Culver have officially declared October 5th, 2010, as Raoul Wallenberg Day in their States in honor of the bravery, heroism, and courage of Raoul Wallenberg. On October 5th 1981, Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who disappeared in January 1945 after saving the lives of tens of thousands persecuted people during World War II, became the second person in history to be awarded Honorary U.S. Citizenship. Raoul Wallenberg Day is commemorated every year in the State of New York and other U.S. states have followed suite after the IRWF’s suggestion.

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Messenger to Raoul Wallenberg, Dr. George Udvarhelyi, Passed Away

Dr. George B. Udvarhelyi, an internationally known Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who established the Office of Cultural Affairs at the East Baltimore medical school, died. During World War II, Dr. Udvarhelyi was a member of the Hungarian underground, which worked against the Nazi occupation. He served as a messenger to Raoul Wallenberg, ”I delivered mostly false Swedish passports,” he told The Baltimore Sun in a 1995 interview. ”All we were told was to go to certain places, go to a church, have a code word, a password, and give an envelope to somebody.”

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”Rescuers” and ”The Wallenberg Series” at the IRWF Cultural Space

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF), the International Angelo Roncalli Committee, and Casa Argentina en Israel Tierra Santa present ”Rescuers,” an exhibit of bronze busts by Peter Bulow; and ”The Wallenberg Series,” paintings by Armand Frederic Vallée. The exhibit is on show weekdays, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., by appointment only. Peter Bulow’s ”Rescuers” feature portraits of three Rescuers of the Holocaust — Raoul Wallenberg, Angelo Roncalli, and Luiz Martins De Souza Dantas. The sculptures were commissioned by the organizers of the exhibit. Created in 1985/86, ”The Wallenberg Series” consists of fourteen paintings that narrate the Swedish diplomat’s quest to save victims of the Holocaust. The series was donated to the Wallenberg Foundation by Liesel Paris, trustee of Mr. Vallée’s estate, following the artist’s passing in February 2009.

University Professor Meets Kin of Man who Saved his Family from Nazis

Daniel Mattis tried for years to contact descendants of the Portuguese diplomat who in 1940 granted his family visas necessary to escape the Nazis. Aristides Mendes grew up during years in which his mother worked tirelessly for recognition of his grandfather’s -Aristides de Souza Mendes- efforts to save thousands of war refugees. Saturday evening the paths of the two men crossed at last in a reunion across 70 years of history that began as a Father’s Day gift idea from Mattis’ daughter, Olivia.

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Worldwide Religious Services to Honor Diplomat Heroes of WWII

On June 17th, synagogues and churches around the world celebrated special Thanksgiving Services and Masses in honor of Portuguese Diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Brazilian Diplomat Aristides de Souza Dantas, and all the other Diplomat Rescuers of victims of the Holocaust. Rome, Newark, Sao Paolo, Paris, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Bordeaux, Salvador de Bahia, and many others cities have participated in this joint initiative by the IRWF and The International Angelo Roncalli Committee.

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The Righteous Recalled – Remembering the Shoah

In the presence of camp survivors and to the sound of a solo violin performance of the haunting theme from Schindler’s List, a memorial to the thousands of Greek Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust was unveiled in Athens on May 10. The Athens Holocaust Memorial consists of a broken marble Star of David. Poignantly, each of the monument’s six triangles points in the general direction of the 25 Greek cities and towns whose Jewish populations fall victim to the Nazis.

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Yad Vashem to Honor Polish Righteous Among the Nations Wednesday

On Wednesday, June 30, 2010, Yad Vashem posthumously honored Jan and Julia Lisieczynski from Poland as Righteous Among the Nations. Their granddaughter Krystyna Kudiuk received the medal and certificate of honor on their behalf. The ceremony took place in the presence of the survivor, Ben Zion Rieber, who met his rescuers’ granddaughter for the first time, and H.E. Ms. Agnieskzka Magdziak-Miszewska, Polish Ambassador to Israel.

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