March 2009

States of Iowa and Illinois proclaimed Raoul Wallenberg Day

Governors Chester J. Culver from Iowa and Pat Quinn from Illinois have proclaimed the Raoul Wallenberg Day in their States. In the State of Iowa, the chosen date is August 4, 2009, which coincides with Raoul Wallenberg’s birth day, whereas in the State of Illinois, October 5, 2009, the day when Raoul Wallenberg was declared the Honorary Citizen of the U.S.

The proclamations came as a result of the initiative of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, one of the many we carry out to preserve the memory on Raoul Wallenberg’s heroic deeds. This is the second time that boths states are supporting the IRWF initiative for which we feel deeply honored.

Saviors on the Screen Film Festival, April 20-21, New York

The IRWF and the JCC in Manhattan have the pleasure of presenting ”Saviors on the Screen” a Yom HaShoah Film Festival that pays tribute and remembers the rescuers of persecuted people during the Holocaust. This is the forth year that the festival is organized. In this years edition, the audience will have the opportunity to see Blessed is the Match – a first documentary feature on the life of Hannah Senesh, the WWII-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc; Pigeon – short film set in France during WWII, based on a true story, that recounts a rare and startling act of charity; Just an Ordinary Jew: An Oxymoron in Contemporary Germany – a feature film based on the book of Charles Lewinskty, that explores a complexity of life as a Jew in post-war Germany.

All screenings will take place at JCC Manhattan: 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St.

Prime Minister of Belgium, new Honorary Member of the IRWF

His Excellency Herman Van Rompuy, Prime Minister of Belgium joined the IRWF becoming our Honorary Member. In his letter of acceptance he states: ”It has been many years since the extraordinary account of Raoul Wallenberg achievements first came to my attention. We can only experience a feeling of humble admiration in the face of such heroism.” We are honored and grateful for the support that we’ve been receiving from our Honorary Members – Heads of States, Nobel Prize Laureates, Governors and Mayors as well as other distinguished personalities from all walks of life.

Prominent Spanish Artist Portrays Holocaust Survivors

The IRWF has a pleasure of announcing the collaboration with artist Felix de la Concha who is sharing with us the portraits and testimonies of people rescued by Wallenberg, part of his latest project of portraying and recording Holocaust survivors. The process of portraying, done in an intimate setting and assuming considerable time of interaction between the artist and the model, turned out to be a perfect invitation for the survivors to tell their story with details and reflections. Two of the 24 survivors that Mr. de la Concha painted and recorded so far, were rescued by Raoul Wallenberg. The IRWF is currently transcribing the interviews that will be available on the ”Documenting Wallenberg” section of our website.

New Performance of Wallenberg, a Musical Drama, in Harrison, NY

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is proud to be one of the associate producers of the amazing, new Broadway-bound Wallenberg musical, which will have a new performance on Sunday, April 26. The concert presentation will take place at 3:00 pm in the Jewish Community Center of Harrison, located at 130 Union Avenue, Harrison, New York, 30 minutes north of Manhattan. Following the performance, the audience is invited to meet Award-winning librettists Felicia Needleman and Laurence Holzman and Composer Benjamin Rosenbluth, as well as Director Annette Jolles and the entire Cast, at a talk-back reception.

Raoul Wallenberg Medals on the IRWF website

Thanks to the medal collector Severin Szperling it is possible to see the collection of the Raoul Wallenberg medals on our website. Ms. Szperling is currently preparing the book on medals were the IRWF Raoul Wallenberg medal will be featured as well.