January 2009

Wallenberg Remembered on the Day of his Disappearance – January 17, 1945

  • Stockholm, Sweden: An exhibit on Raoul Wallenberg was inaugurated in the Swedish Army Museum in Stockholm on January 17, 2009. Ambassador Jan Eliasson, balladeer Ben Olander, Raoul Wallenberg’s family, and survivors rescued by Wallenberg were in attendance.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: On January 21, the IRWF organized a commemorative gathering in front of the Raoul Wallenberg statue. Political annalist George Chaya, writer Marcos Aguinis, and the Ambassador of Sweden in Argentina H.E. Arne Rodin were present at the event.
  • Jerusalem, Israel: En evening in honor to Raoul Wallenberg was held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on January 26. Live and recorded addresses by diplomatic representatives and by Wallenberg’s niece, Louise von Dardel, as well as the documentary film ”Raoul Wallenberg – Savior and Victim” were screened at the event.
  • Lindingo, Sweden: The city of Lindingo, birth town of Raoul Wallenberg, organized a commemorative event in his memory on January 27.

”Righteous from Austria – the Heroes of Holocaust” in Santiago de Chile

The exhibit on Righteous from Austria, organized by the IRWF, was inaugurated at the Salon of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago de Chile in commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The exhibit presents the cases of sixteen people -out of a group of eighty-six men, women, and teenagers- who, living under the Nazi dictatorship, consciously violated one of the main principles of the National-Socialist ideology, by not considering the Jews as sub humans belonging to an enemy race. Documentation from ”Yad Vashem” served as the base for the production and creation of the exhibit, which was first presented in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You can see the exhibit here.

Learn and Share your Knowledge

Aware of the upcoming National History Day contest, featuring ”The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies” as its 2009 theme, the IRWF encourages students to choose Raoul Wallenberg and/or other rescuers as the topic of their projects. The IRWF provides resources for students that include a specially designed ”Learn About Raoul Wallenberg” Study Guide.

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Announcement of the II Vatican Council

January 25, 2009 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s announcement of his intentions to convoke the II Vatican Council. The announcement was made in the Basilica of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls on Sunday, January 25, 1959. The Council opened in 1962 and closed in 1965. One of the most controversial documents resulting from the Council was Nostra Aetate, which stated that not all the Jews of the time of Christ, and not all the Jews today can be hold responsible for the death of Christ.

IRWF’s Founder Featured in the Book ”The Interfaith Heroes 2”

Baruch Tenembaum, Founder of the Wallenberg Foundation, is one of the thirty-one men and women featured by author Daniel Buttry in his book ”The Interfaith Heroes 2.” The publication celebrates the stories of those who risked crossing religious boundaries to help heal the world. Read more about it here.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Around the World

On January 27 the world honored the victims of the Holocaust by commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. A memorial ceremony held at the Raoul Wallenberg Square in Stockholm and a stage reading of the play ”Irena’s Vow,” about a real-life Polish Catholic who protected Jewish refugees during World War II, were among the many events organized. This annual date, designated by the United Nations General Assembly on November 1, 2005, marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. The UN resolution rejects denial of the Holocaust and condemns discrimination and violence based on religion or ethnicity. For more information visit here.

Appeal for Information on Italian WW II Rescuers

The IRWF is looking for any information regarding Italian citizens that saved persecuted people during World War II. Information regarding relatives of the Rescuers will also be welcome. Anyone who could provide us testimonies and information is kindly requested to contact our offices:

  • New York: Svetlana at 34 E 67 Street, New York, NY 10065, USA, Phone: +1 212 7373275
  • Jerusalem: Danny at 3 Antebi Street, Jerusalem, Israel – Phone: + 972 2 6257996

The Year Behind Us

In 2008, the IRWF reached more than 10,000 teachers and students through its educational program, conducted research that lead to the official recognition of Stanislawa Slawinska as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem, reunited the family of survivors with those responsible for their well-being during the war, paid homages to rescuers from Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Austria, and recorded testimonies of Holocaust survivors, among many other activities. Read more about this year’s achievements in our Annual Report.

In the Press

  • His Tracks Have Vanished: 64 years ago, on January 17, 1945, Raoul Wallenberg was abducted by the Soviet forces in Budapest. His tracks have vanished ever since. Read the article
  • Yad Vashem Awards Nine Slovaks with the ”Righteous Among The Nations”. Nine Slovaks received posthumous Righteous Among The Nations awards from Israel and the Yad Vashem institution at Bratislava City Hall on Sunday for saving the lives of Jewish fellow citizens during WWII. Read the article