November 2008

IRWF Research Led to Yad Vashem Recognition of Polish Rescuer

Esfira Maiman – a young-spirited 94 years old lady has realized a life-long dream. This week, she embraced Roman Slawinski, the nephew of Stanislawa Slawinska, the Polish Catholic woman who, more than sixty years ago gave shelter to her and to other persecuted Jews at her own home in Grodzisk Mazowiecki.


The month of November has seen the fruition of the IRWF work in the Maiman

– Slawinska case. After 60 years Esfira Maiman, a young spirited 94 years old women embraced Roman Slawinski, the nephew of Stanislawa Slawinska, the Polish Catholic woman who, more than sixty years ago gave shelter to her and to other persecuted Jews at her own home in Grodzisk Mazowiecki. The encounter happened in Israel on November 10^th, when Roman together with his son and grandson flew from Poland to visit Maiman family and take part in two ceremonies that honored the life saving deeds of his aunt.

On November 11, the Ceremony at Yad Vashem took place. After studying the case that was conveyed to them by the IRWF Yad Vashem decided to bestow posthumous title of Righteous Among the Nations to Stanislawa Slawinska. This also meant a great recognition of the IRWF work in the field of rescuers research.

On November 13th, 2008, the IRWF, together with the Polish Embassy in Israel, held a moving ceremony at the private residence of HE, Ambassador Agnieszka Magdziak – Miszewska. At the event the IRWF granted two medals to the Slawinski’s: The Raoul Wallenberg Women Rescuers Medal and the Esfira Maiman Women Rescuers Medal which is a decoration given by the newly established Esfira Maiman Women Rescuers Institute.

Esfira Maiman closed the chapter of her life having seen her rescuers honored. As for the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation this is just a beginning since there are many more rescuers still waiting to be discovered.

Current Research

After the title of Righteous among Nations given to Stanislawa Slawinska based on the material gathered by the IRWF, several more cases are being researched and will be sent to Yad Vashem upon the conclusion of the research. Currently, we are working on the cases of three diplomats from Spain: Bernardo Rolland de Miota – Consul General of Spain in Paris, Julio Palencia – Spanish Ambassador in Sofia and Sebastian de Romero Radigales – Consul General of Spain in Athens. Also, the cases of Ms. Karolina Csopi Reszeli and her late mother Szuszanna, both honored by the IRWF in a ceremony in Budapest on October 27^th, are ready for Yad Vashem’s evaluation. We strongly believe in all the cases and take pride in knowing that our work helps in honoring people who risked their own life to help others – the most generous and courageous thing one can do for another human being.

Important World Factors Unite Forces to Pay Tribute to Angelo Roncalli

The IRWF and the Angelo Roncalli International Committee have recently joined an initiative, which nucleates Jewish, Israeli and world-renowned personalities, aimed at underscoring the feats of Angelo Roncalli. Among the sponsors are the former Israeli Absorption Minister, Mr. Yair Zaban, Prof. Alberto Melloni, Mr. Serge Klarsfeld, Prof. Renee Posnanzki, Prof. Dina Porat, Mr. Loba Eliav, Prof. Hana Yablunka, just to name a few. The initiative includes a letter that was recently sent to Mr. Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. In addition, President Peres is invited to congratulate the organizers and attendants of the Bergamo Conference (”L’ora che il mondo sta attraversando). At the same time, the signatories of the letter suggest Mr. Peres to hold a Presidential Study Conference about Roncalli’s actions and urge the President to persuade Yad Vashem to find a proper way of honoring Roncalli. [/?en/news/jewish-leader-wants-honor-john.5147.htm]

Remembering Kristalnacht

November 9th marks the 70th anniversary of Reichspogromnacht, known as Kristallnacht. On the 70th anniversary we call on the international community to cease using the Nazi’s terminology for such a grave event. Kristallnacht, night of broken glass, is used to make little of what befell the Jews of Germany and Austria on these days. We must recognize that there were a lot more broken than glass. On November 9 and 10, 1938, Jewish homes and shops were ransacked and synagogues destroyed. Jews were forced to pay for the damages inflicted upon them. Many were tortured in the streets and as many as 30,000 were sent to concentration camps and never to return. Let us commemorate the 9th and 10th of November and honor those who suffered by ceasing to use the Nazi term for the event. Let’s begin to call it what it really was – Reichspogromnacht – a notoriously grave pogrom against the Jewish people of Germany and Austria.

New Addition to Documenting Wallenberg Project

Thanks to an article published two weeks ago in Canadian Jewish News, we learned about Mr. Strasser who was rescued from the death march thanks to Raoul Wallenberg. Mr. Strasser now lives in Montreal, and this is his testimony.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is still looking for rescuers. If you, your family member or somebody that you know has a story of rescuing to tell, please contact us at []

Educational Exchange with Germany

During a ten-day visit, German educator Daniel Felder exchanged experiences with the team of educators of the Wallenberg Foundation’s initiative ”Wallenberg at School.” Born in 1981 in Reutlingen, Daniel Felder studied history and English at Tübingen University. He is the Vice-President of the Jewish Center of Tübingen and the founder of the German Israeli Forum. Felder is also the mind behind the ”Day of Religions,” an interreligious initiative that involves Jews, Muslims, and Christians.