Wallenberg Centenary

June 25, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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A call has gone out to rabbis to prepare and deliver sermons in synagogues across Australia to honor the memory of Raoul Wallenberg on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Raoul Wallenberg

The Swedish diplomat who is attributed with the rescue of more than 100,000 Jews in Nazi occupied Hungary was arrested in January 1945 by Russian troops. He was never heard of again.

Next Sunday he will be remembered at the AGM of the Council of Christians and Jews in Melbourne at which Professor Frank Vajda who was rescued by Wallenberg will be guest speaker. Specially franked stamps depicting Wallenberg, will be offered on sale at the event.

The Raoul Wallenberg Unit of the B’nai B’rith has called on rabbis to commemorate the centenary of Wallenberg’s birth on August 4.

Established in 1985 to highlight the plight of Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg,  Melbourne’s Raoul Wallenberg Unit is one of five international lodges and units (others are in Berlin, London, Santiago and Toronto) which share the same name of this distinguished humanitarian, is suggesting that congregations around the world observe the centenary of Raoul Wallenberg’s birth.

A spokesperson said: “It would be most appropriate and greatly appreciated if members of the clergy could speak about Raoul Wallenberg from their pulpits, telling the amazing, inspirational story of his heroic deeds and tragic disappearance so that he is remembered by people everywhere over
the weekend 3~5 August 2012.  It is the story of one person making a difference.

Many books have been published about Raoul Wallenberg and his story has been widely publicised.  However, there are still many people who do not know the extent of his inspirational work in Budapest in 1944 or even the story itself; it is, therefore, worth repeating.

Various B’nai B’rith lodges and units over the years have paid homage to the Swedish diplomat who saved 100,000 people from Hitler’s extermination camps ~ the most significant rescue of Jews in the entire World War Two period.

With permission from the Swedish government, Wallenberg issued passports, established protective housing, soup kitchens, hospitals, orphanages and schools; he rescued Jews from sealed deportation trains.  In one remarkable night, he saved 70,000 Jews by having Adolph Eichmann’s ‘final solution’ orders countermanded.

In January 1945, however, he was arrested by Russian troops; his whereabouts and fate remain unknown.

Internationally, Raoul Wallenberg has been recognised as an Honorary Citizen of the USA, Canada, Hungary and Israel.  He was honoured with the title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in Israel.

 

 

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