13 September 2012
Press Release
Note No. 6360

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

United Nations to Mark Raoul Wallenberg’s Centenary with Special Event


at Museum of Jewish Heritage, 19 September


The United Nations will mark the centenary of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg with a special event to examine his mysterious disappearance after the Second World War and the legacy he left to humankind.

Co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Hungary and Sweden to the United Nations and the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, the event will be held on 19 September at the Museum, in Battery Park, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Author Kati Marton, who has published Wallenberg: The Incredible Story of the Man Who Saved the Jews of Budapest, and Professor Bengt Jangfeldt, who will soon release the English translation of his book, Raoul Wallenberg: A Biography, will discuss their latest research on Wallenberg with Museum Director David G. Marwell.  United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal will make opening remarks.

Born on 4 August 1912, Wallenberg was recruited by the United States War Refugee Board in June 1944 to travel to Hungary.  Given diplomatic status by Sweden, his task was to do what he could to assist and save Hungarian Jews.  Despite a complete lack of experience in diplomacy and clandestine operations, he led one of the most extensive and successful rescue efforts during the Holocaust.  When Soviet forces liberated Budapest in February 1945, more than 100,000 Jews remained, mostly because of the efforts of Wallenberg and his colleagues.

Raoul Wallenberg is admired around the world as a symbol of moral courage and self-sacrifice.  The Department of Public Information’s Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme is paying tribute to the courageous men and women like him who were willing to risk their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.  “We will continue to be inspired by the shining example of great humanitarians such as Raoul Wallenberg in this, the centennial year of his birth,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust hosts exhibitions that educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the rich tapestry of Jewish life over the past century — before, during and after the Holocaust.  It is also home to the award-winning Keeping History Center, an interactive visitor experience, and Andy Goldsworthy’s memorial Garden of Stones.  The Museum offers visitors vibrant public programmes in its Edmond J. Safra Hall, and receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.  For more information, please visit www.mjhnyc.org.

The event is one of many activities organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2006 to encourage education about and remembrance of the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide.  Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational materials, seminars, exhibitions a film series and the annual worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust each 27 January.  Please visit www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance.

Admission is open to the public and free of charge, but advance registration is required.  For registration, please contact Kimberly Mann, Manager, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, +1 212 963 6835, or mann@un.org.  For information about the Museum, please contact Betsy Aldredge, Museum of Jewish Heritage, +1 646 437 4337, or baldredge@mjhnyc.org.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record