April 7, 2015

January 2015

Hungarian Karoly Szabo declared posthumously Righteous Among the Nations

The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation board has decided to bestow posthumously the Wallenberg Medal to Karoly Szabo, a WWII hero who risked his life in order to save 166 Jewish people kidnapped by the Hungarian Arrow Cross Party on the night of 24 December 1944, in Budapest.

Karoly Szabo (1916 – 1964) was an employee of the Swedish Embassy in Budapest from 1944 to 1945. He was a supporter of Raoul Wallenberg and had a significant role in making contact with the representatives of the Hungarian police and other state officials. In the Hungarian Boy Scouts in 1929 he became friends with Pal Szalai. This friendship continued in the critical months of 1944-1945 while Pal Szalai, high-ranking member of the police force, supported Raoul Wallenberg.

Casa de Vida Santa Brigida en Roma January 15, 2015 Casa di Santa Brigida in Rome was awarded as “House of Life”, Casa di Vita” by the IRWF

Casa di Santa Brigida in Piazza Farnese, Rome was awarded the title of “House of Life” in a ceremony led by IRWF and the Order of the Brigidine on January 15, 2015.

The Mother Superior of the order of the Most Holy Savior of Saint Bridget Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad, canonized in 2000 and acknowledged as a “Righteous Among the Nations” in 2004, opened the doors of the monastery to the Jewish fugitives and sheltered them, together with her sisters, until June 4, 1944, when Rome was liberated.

During the ceremony Mother Tekla Famiglietti, the current abbess of the order welcomed the attendees by saying “This is your house”. “This was my house,” replied Mr. Piero Piperno who was sheltered there until Rome was liberated. He told his story during the event and said that the fragile shield against the black hole of deportation were a little wooden door on the rear of the Church of Santa Brigida and the courage of a little nun, Mother Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad.

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January 17, 70th anniversary of the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation claims for the closing of one of the most controversial and lasting human right’s cases since the end of World War II. January 17 is the 70th anniversary of the disappearance of the man who helped save the lives of thousands of persecuted people during the Holocaust.

The  IRWF published the following note mentioning all what was done since the centenary of his birth in 2012, and the latest developments, with the goal of creating awareness about the case highlighting the request made to the Russian government to open the archives of the KGB.

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An article by Louise Von Dardel, niece of Raoul Wallenberg on the Jerusalem Post

Excerpt from the article:

Probably not a single day has gone by that our family has not thought of him since, and we have done all we could to bring him home.

The 70th anniversary of his separation from us leads me to reflect, and some of this I would like to share.

Because of his exceptional deeds in Hungary, Raoul is a historical figure, and history is collective memory. Yad Vashem has a slogan: “Remembering the past – shaping the future.” For myself as well, history is understanding the essence of past events in order to be able to learn for the future.

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An article about Raoul Wallenberg anniversary of disappearance on the BCC by  Rob Brown.

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Another article and a poem “A tribute to the lost hero “

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Houses Of Life, A Project by the IRWF that turned into a Significant and Pleasant Surprise

During a special meeting of the Board of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, it was voted to launch a new initiative: to identify and mark physical sites across Europe (mainly churches, convents, monasteries) that served as shelters for the victims of the Nazi persecution and extermination machinery, during the dark days of the Holocaust

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IRWF – Looking for other Houses of Life.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation encourages to share reliable information on other “Houses of Life ” that you could have heard of either by email irwf@irwf.org  , or by telephone by contacting the different offices.