July 6, 2015

May 2015

The IRWF pays tribute to the Albanian rescuers and their President at the JCC Manhattan

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) paid tribute to the people of Albania during a meaningful event where President of Albania H.E. Bujar Nishani was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg on behalf of his compatriots. The ceremony took place at the JCC Manhattan and the attendance was full numbering over 200 friends of the Albanian community, Jewish community and the organizations sponsoring the event, IRWF and The Eye Contact.

The award ceremony was followed by the screening of the compelling documentary “Besa, the promise”  featuring the journey of Norman Gershman, founder of the Eye Contact Foundation and renowned Jewish photographer who travelled to Albania to document  the Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

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106th birthday of Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children during WWII

Sir Nicholas Winton 106th birthday was on May 19. The IRWF awarded him on 2013 for the giant “Kindertransport” operation he organized to save 669 children from by organizing their relocation from Prague to London just before the outburst of World War II. The children saved by Sir Winton and their descendants are now a few thousands and they are part of the “Winton family”.

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The institute “Notre Dame de Sion” in Paris was declared “House of Life”

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation awarded a new House of Life on May 12. In    Notre Dame de Sion school many children were sheltered during the years of the Shoah under the leadership of Sor Maria Francia, Gabrielle De Linares. Sor Francia was also declared Righteous among the Nations later in 2006.

The representatives for the IRWF in attendance were Jesus Colina and Silvia Costantini from Aleteia. The Director of the school led the ceremony and observed that the award is for the school an honor, a sign and an appeal to take responsibility and act even in hard times like Sor Francia did. The plaque was unveiled by two students in homage of the house and of the people who showed civic courage, solidarity and fraternity.

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Report about Saviors during the Armenian Genocide  

The IRWF and the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University joined forces in a major research project under the supervision of Prof. Taner Akcam. The research identified Turks and Kurds that reached out to the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

The report was translated to English and is about to be published. The IRWF is planning to pay tribute to the Muslim rescuers by incorporating their stories into its educational programs.


A case for the Rescuers of Moise Battino and Esther Mallah was presented to Yad Vashem

Greek Moise Battino and Esther Mallah told their story of survival for the first time to the IRWF. The case about their rescuer Katina Perakis was submitted to Yad Vashem Department of Righteous among the Nations. Katina Perakis, a friend of their mother sheltered them after their parents were taken away by the Nazis.

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Houses of life in the press

In the summer 2014 the IRWF launched a new initiative Houses of Life identifying churches, monasteries, convents that offered shelter to people persecuted by the Nazi persecution during the dark days of the Holocaust.

More than 100 sites were properly identified throughout many European countries and lately, only in Rome and its suburbs, another 100 convents and monasteries that gave shelter to Jews, were discovered.

The IRWF is not only surprised by the sizable number of Houses of Life, but also by the favorable response of the current authorities of those sites, who warmly cooperate with the Wallenberg Foundation, understanding the importance of this project.

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