November 17, 2014

Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and a unique education program across Europe

Tribute to churches and convents that helped Jews persecuted by Nazism.

“Houses of Life” is an educational program lead by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation aiming to identify, pay tribute and spread the actions of solidarity of institutions or individuals that extended a hand to the persecuted by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The program is taking place throughout Europe with the cooperation of Aleteia, the Catholic news agency, with direct involvement of its Editorial Director, Mr. Jesús Colina and Institutional Relations Manager, Ms. Silvia Costantini,

The purpose of “Houses of Life” program is to identify and honor those who reached out and helped people in need by risking their own lives, as well as the life of family and friends. There are public places such as convents, monasteries, churches, schools, and privately owned homes, where Jews persecuted by the Nazis were sheltered and were given food and medicines. “Seventy years after the end of the Second World War this educational proposal has an impact as it acknowledges and awards those who were on the front line and risked everything to help their fellow man” stated Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian, president of NGO International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

Before the end of 2014 the Wallenberg Foundation will hold awarding ceremonies and a commemorative plaque will be placed at the front of the buildings of the General Curia of the Capuchin Brotherhood in Rome; the headquarters of the Franciscan Sisters in Florence and the Casa of Santa Brigida in Rome to commemorate deeds of rescue. In 2015 other ceremonies will be held in churches and convents in Belgium, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Poland.

With this program, the Wallenberg Foundation seeks further information about solidarity actions, including names of players (rescuers and rescued) and details of the rescue site, in case the people saved were housed in a specific place.

The mission of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is to develop educational and public awareness campaigns that promote the values of solidarity and civic courage that inspired the deeds of the Saviors of the Holocaust. Raoul Wallenberg is the Swedish diplomat who disappeared in January 1945 after saving the lives of thousands of Jews and other persecuted during World War II. Its founder is Baruch Tenenbaum, candidate to Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Pope Francis, is also a founding member of the NGO.