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Raoul Wallenberg Collage


I. Research:

  1. Research on the Internet and your local library and read up on the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, the Holocaust, World War II, Resistance, Underground and Raoul Wallenberg. Use also:
    • Encyclopedias, Wikipedia
    • Newspapers, Magazines and Periodicals ca. 1940-1950

  2. Read bibliographies on Raoul Wallenberg.

  3. Contact your local Jewish Community Center and/or synagogues and interview Holocaust survivors. Learn what childhood was like as a Jewish child/teenager in occupied Europe.
    • Ask about Hungarian Jews in your community. You can also place an add in your local Jewish newspaper.
    • Search for organizations and associations of Hungarian Holocaust Survivors or Hungarian Hidden Children.
    • Find a Hungarian internet radio station and listen to the language.

  4. Contact the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington and the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

  5. Contact Spielberg's Shoah Foundation and listen to testimonials of survivors. Search for Hungarian Jews, how they survived in hiding or escaped Hungary.

  6. Watch movies, particularly newsreels of the period (1939-1946).

  7. Read up on the Adolf Eichmann trial 1961 in Jerusalem.

  8. Watch documentaries made after the war, especially "Night and Fog" by Alain Resnais (1955), as well as TV series, like the four-part Holocaust (1978), which aired on NBC.

  9. Find out about other Righteous Gentiles: Contact Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Holocaust memorial that has planted a forest in memory of Righteous Gentiles and offers thousands of documents and research tools.

  10. Contact the Jewish Community in Budapest and research how Hungarian Jews lived in Budapest during the war, under German occupation, and also after the war. Ask what is left of the old Jewish quarters and synagogues in the city.
    • View maps of Budapest then and now and find the places where Raoul Wallenberg was active.
    • Find the safe houses he built and the Swedish Embassy where he worked.

  11. Read the book Child of the Winds by Agnes Adachi, Wallenberg's secretary in Budapest, who lives today in New York.

  12. Read up on Per Anger, Wallenberg's co-worker at the embassy in Budapest, and Nene Annan — U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan's wife — who is Raoul Wallenberg's niece.

  13. Contact various national and international Raoul Wallenberg Associations (find some links here.)


II. In order to understand more what Wallenberg must have gone through, ask yourself:

  • What would you do if you could help a stranger but doing so would endanger your own life?

  • Have you ever spoken up against opinions and views held by your peers, even though you were the only one to object?
    • What did that feel like?

  • Is it important to you to speak up against prejudice, hate, injustice and bias? Have you ever done that in public?

  • Are you a whistle blower and like to take chances?

  • Do you like to swim against the tide, or are you usually part of the mainstream and consider yourself a conformist?

  • What are your own prejudices and biases?

  • Are you interested in politics, current events and developments?

  • Do you read a newspaper regularly? Do you know what's happening in the world?

  • Are you interested in other countries, cultures and their points of view?


III. Now, reflect on the following:

  • Could the Holocaust have happened outside Germany, maybe in the United States?
    • Read Philip Roth's novel The Plot Against America.

  • Is Raoul Wallenberg's story over and done with or does it have repercussions today?

  • Who are your heroes?

  • In your eyes, is Raoul Wallenberg a hero for what he did?

  • What should be done to keep his memory alive and to learn the truth about is fate?

By now, you should have more than enough material to start writing about your topic. As you can see, oral history, the words of survivors and witnesses, will become a major part of your work. Let the survivors talk and listen.

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and author, once said: "A person, who listens to a witness, becomes a witness."

Become that person.

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Areas of study: World War II
The Holocaust
Oral History
Resistance and Underground
Wallenberg/Righteous Gentiles


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