August 30, 2007

Testimonies of Survival Documented in Borough Park, Brooklyn

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation Interviews Survivors of the Holocaust that were saved by Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest, Hungary.

New York City, NY – August 29, 2007 – A team of representatives and volunteers from The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) were at the Nachas Health and Family Network in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn to interview Holocaust survivors from Budapset, Hungary, that met or were saved by Raoul Wallenberg. The testimonies are being compiled for the IRWF’s new project, ”Documenting Wallenberg: An Archive of Testimonials.”

Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat sent to Hungary in June 1944. During just a six-month stay in Budapest, he rescued more than 100,000 Jews by issuing special Swedish protective documents called Schutz-pass and by creating safe houses where food and medical supplies were distributed to those in need. Wallenberg was never seen again in the free world after January 17, 1945, when the Soviets arrested and imprisoned him.

The objective of IRWF’s new project, ”Documenting Wallenberg: An Archive of Testimonials,” is to gather written and spoken testimonials of those who experienced and remember the courage of Raoul Wallenberg. In accordance with the Foundation’s mission to develop educational programs and campaigns based on the solidarity, civic courage, the ethical cornerstones of the Holocaust saviors, the project aims to help the youth and future generations inherit the humanity and morality of saviors like Wallenberg.

As the project is still in need of interviewees who are willing to go in front of the camera and tell their story of survival, the opportunity to interview 13 survivors who were in Budapest between 1944 and 1945 was a great asset to the project. The testimonies that these survivors gave will ensure that the legacy and heroism of Raoul Wallenberg will never be forgotten. ”Wallenberg was responsible for saving so many generations of people who now live all over the world,” said Ester Mejer of Borough Park, who was only 13 when Raoul Wallenberg saved her from the hands of the Nazis. ”It’s so important that people know about Wallenberg’s courage because persecution does not just happen to Jews. This is happening to other nations now too like in Darfur, Sudan, so we must continue the story of Wallenberg to spread the inspiration and courage to do something about it.”

Each year, the IRWF receives countless requests from local schools and community groups for educational materials about Raoul Wallenberg and other Holocaust Saviors. As the project gathers more testimonies, they will be able to use this material to spread the legacy and values of Raoul Wallenberg. If you or someone you know survived the Budapest ghetto from 1944 until 1945, call our office at 212-737-3275

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