April 2008

Dear Friends,

After 24 years of diligent work at Yad Vashem, where I was the Director of the Department of the Righteous Among the Nations, I am happy to inform you I have recently joined the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, as Director of Special Projects. Being already familiar with the IRWF’s wonderful work in highlighting the life-saving activity of many rescuers during the Holocaust, I am looking forward to contribute to the important work of this organization.

As a child, my family was saved by a French catholic priest, and so I have a personal interest in expressing gratitude to rescuers. As there are still many stories that are waiting to be told, I will work with the IRWF to find and identify additional rescuers, by gathering testimonies of people who, more than 60 years later, have not yet told their story, but are waiting for someone to approach them for this purpose. In addition, at the IRWF, we plan to launch a special project of recognizing and celebrating Jewish rescuers during the Holocaust.

I welcome your ideas and comments, and look forward to meeting you. Needless to emphasize, if you know a story of rescue that is still to be told, I invite you to contact me.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Mordecai Paldiel

Film Screening: ”Legacy” (Legado) at the Instituto Cervantes, New York

Legado, the film produced by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation based on the idea of its founder, Baruch Tenembaum, was presented at ”The Legacy of Sefarad” Film Festival organized by the Instituto Cervantes. The film is part documentary and part fiction about the various waves of Jewish immigration to Argentina. You can learn more about Legado at /?en/press/quot-legado-quot-legacy.1955.htm

Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day Events

Saviors on the Screen: Annual Film Marathon at JCC in Manhattan
All screenings will take place at JCC Manhattan: 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th

  • As Seen Through These Eyes – April 29, 7:30 pm. The documentary focuses on art made by children during the Holocaust, and in certain cases, even at the encouragement of the German authorities. Documentation of these works and conversations with surviving artists give us a glimpse into what went on in the minds of these children and into the strength of the human spirit.
  • The House on August Street – April 30, 6 pm. This highly acclaimed Israeli documentary brings the untold story of Beate Berger who founded ”Beit Ahawah” (”House of Love”) in Berlin for Jewish Children in need. In the early 1930s she made the courageous decision to save the children from the Nazis, and through unique rescue operations, she took them to a new home she built for them in Israel. New York Premiere
  • Fugitive Pieces – April 30, 8 pm. Based on the best-selling novel, the special advanced screening of this film tells the story of Jakob Beer, an orphan child saved by a Greek Archeologist during WWII. Over the course of his life Jakob attempts to deal with the losses he has endured. Through his writing and the discovery of true love, he is ultimately freed from the legacy of his past. Starring: Stephen Dillane, Rade Sherbedgia, Rosamund Pike, Ed Stoppard, Ayelet Zorer.

Exhibit – Caricatures of Robert Hans Olschwanger – Berlin, Germany

Mr. Olschwanger was a unique artist. A Jew born in Germany, he fled from the Nazis and established himself in Peru, where he became a combatant artist, having published a great number of remarkable caricatures against the Nazi regime in the Peruvian press. Beyond the artistic value of his prolific work, his caricatures bore a prophetic nature, foreseeing the downfall of Hitler’s regime. After the war, Mr. Olschwanger returned to Germany, where he passed away. 7:30 pm at the Ev. Vaterunser Gemeinde in Berlin

Street Named after Angelo Roncalli – Pope John XXIII – Peekskill, NY

Rabbi Claudio Kupchik of First Hebrew Congregation initiated the naming of the street after Roncalli, who saved Jews during the Holocaust by issuing baptismal papers and by personal protests. Later, as Pope John XXIII, Roncalli convened the Second Vatican Council, which finally acquitted Jews of Christ-Killing.

Educational Program at Hebrew Schools – New York, NY

Children and teens will reenact scenes from the life of Raoul Wallenberg in Hebrew Schools, as part of IRWF’s program.

Searching for People Saved by Necdet Kent

As Consul General to Marseilles between 1941 and 1944, Kent gave Turkish citizenship to dozens of Turkish Jews living in France who did not have proper identity papers, to save them from deportation to the Nazi gas chambers. On one occasion in 1943, Kent boarded a train bound for Auschwitz, after Nazi guards refused to let some 70 Jews with Turkish citizenship disembark. After more than an hour on the train, the guards let
Kent and the Jews leave. Those saved by Kent, or their family members are welcome to contact the IRWF: 212-737-3275, irwf@irwf.org