Raoul Wallenberg was honoured in New York city with the unveiling of a monument in Manhattan, on the corner of First Avenue and 47th street.
A delegation of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, which was created in Argentina and counts with the presence of, among others, Nobel Prize Elie Wiesel, US congressman, Tom Lantos and the Presidents of the Czech Republic and Hungary, Vaclav Havel and Arpad Goncz, respectively, attended the ceremony specially invited by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the Swedish General Consulate in New York. The name of the sculpture is ‘Hope’ and it is the work of Swedish artist Gustav Kraitz. It will be placed in a triangular space in downtown Manhattan, opposite to the UN building.
The monument consists of five columns, one of which is 7 meters high (23 feet) and has a pottery sphere on top. The sides have engraved writings that telling aspects of Wallenberg’s life and mission, as well as an extract of the joint resolution of the American Congress by which Wallenberg was declared Honorary Citizen of the United States of America in 1981. At the bottom of the columns a bronze briefcase, as it was left in a hurry, can be appreciated. It represents the unfinished work of the Swedish diplomat. The surrounding area is paved with granite from the Jewish ghetto of Budapest, which is Hungary’s contribution to the making of the work.
Along with Giuliani and Baruch Tenembaum, Argentine businessman and founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, were Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Wiesel; her Royal Highness, Princess Victoria of Sweden; Nina Lagegren, Wallenberg’s sister; Nane Annan, wife of the Secretary General of the UN; great Rabbi of Sweden and the work’s donor, Marcus Storch, the son of Hilel Storch, who headed the World Jewish Congress and was the representative of the Jewish Agency in Sweden. In 1944, Mr. Hilel Storch worked with colleagues in the WJC in Sweden to recruit Mr. Wallenberg as special envoy to Budapest, and supported Wallenberg in this effort.