Wallenberg remembered

July 3, 2012 by  
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The Council of Christians and Jews Victoria AGM has been held in conjunction with Raoul Wallenberg Unit of B’nai B’rith.

Stamp sheet

Frank Vajda receives a gift

The guest speaker was Professor Frank Vajda, whose life was saved by Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest in 1945. Next month will mark the centenary of the Swedish diplomat’s birth.

Guests at the AGM, held at the King David School’s Magid Institute in Armadale heard about the life and disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg behind the Iron Curtain. Professor Vajda related some of his own experiences during the Second World War.

Following the speech, Judi Schiff launched the new Centenary Postmark on the Raoul Wallenberg Stamp Sheet.  The Stamp Sheet was produced with the help of Max Stern of Max Stern and Co, a leading Melbourne stamp dealership, in conjunction with Australia Post.  It features ten 60 cent Australia Post stamps with tabs which show personal images of Raoul Wallenberg from early childhood with his mother and grandfather, to adult soldier in uniform.  Permission to use these images was sought and obtained directly from the Wallenberg family.  The stamp sheet gives a brief history in point form of Raoul Wallenberg’s life.  On the back of its protective envelope, a Schutz-pass is reproduced, which belonged to the late Susan Reichman, who was a member of Raoul Wallenberg Unit and of the Leo Baeck Centre in Kew, Victoria.

Issued by Raoul Wallenberg during 1944-45 to Jews in Budapest, a Schutz-pass was a document which supposedly placed the recipient under the protection of neutral Sweden.  During the final months of the Second World War, more than 30,000 such Swedish diplomatic papers were issued to Hungarian Jews preventing their deportation and murder by German Nazis and the Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross, who believed the Schutz-pass to be genuine.

As part of the Centenary Year Commemoration  (Raoul Wallenberg was born on 4 August 1912), it was decided to over-stamp a small, limited edition of 250 of the sheets with a special Centenary Postmark which features the Raoul Wallenberg Unit logo with the words ‘B’nai B’rith’ below it and the encircling words ‘Raoul Wallenberg Unit, Wallenberg Centenary Year 2012’ around the perimeter.

In launching the new Postmark, Mrs Schiff said: “I commend this philatelic item to you as a most appropriate gift for religious holidays and festivals, when visiting family and friends, for presentations to speakers at functions and as an ideal present to take overseas”.

The Raoul Wallenberg Stamp Sheet is available with the new Centenary Postmark for $25 plus $5 handling and postage in Australia; $12 handling and postage overseas.  For further information and orders, please contact: Judi Schiff on 03 9816 9414 or judi@judischiffphotography.com

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