The Raoul Wallenberg Committee Marks the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg's Honorary U.S. Citizenship

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The Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States held a private gathering at the Raoul Wallenberg Monument in New York City across from the United Nations, to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Wallenberg being named an honorary citizen of the United States, on October 5, 1981. This year also marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Committee, which was founded in May, 1981.

The Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States held a private gathering at the Raoul Wallenberg Monument on 47th Street and First Avenue across from the United Nations, to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Wallenberg being named an honorary citizen of the United States, on October 5, 1981. This year also marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Committee, which was founded in May, 1981.

Attendees at the ceremony included the Committee’s Chair, Rachel Oestreicher Bernhiem, several of its founders and Board Members, and other invited guests, who placed flowers at the base of a monument to Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat whose acts of non-violent heroism helped save the lives of more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II. Wallenberg is one of only four honorary citizens of the United States. The others accorded the honor are the Marquis de Lafayette, Sir Winston Churchill, and Mother Teresa.

Bernheim said, “We gather to honor the living legacy of Raoul Wallenberg, whose heroism stands as a beacon to us all. By meeting here today and continuing the important works of the Committee that bears his name, we honor the memory of his deeds and strive to ensure that future generations also produce citizens of good character, moral courage, and humanitarian sensibilities.”

The Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States is a nationally-recognized not-for-profit educational organization that continues the quest for the truth about the fate of Raoul Wallenberg; and perpetuates his ideal of non-violent heroism through the national distribution of A Study of HEROES, an interdisciplinary educational program that highlights 22 nonviolent role models, including Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Helen Keller and Anwar Sadat. The program, lead by Rachel Oestreicher Bernheim and Dr. Kathleen D Morin, the Committee’s Director of Education, is in use in 48 states and three foreign countries, and has reached more than 1,000,000 American students from K-12. It is also being used effectively in correctional institutions in several states.

About Raoul Wallenberg and the Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States

Near the end of World War II, a 31-year old Swedish businessman, Raoul Wallenberg, volunteered to leave the safety of his peaceful homeland and travel to war-torn Budapest to save the lives of Jews threatened by the Nazis. Hungary had the largest remaining Jewish community left in Nazi-occupied Europe. Through the use of protective passports of his own design, Swedish safe houses, and his influence on political authorities in many spheres, he was able to save the lives of more than 100,000 Jews in six months. On January 17, 1945, Raoul Wallenberg was arrested by Soviet troops on unknown charges, and tragically disappeared into the prison system. His fate remains a mystery today. For his heroic actions, the United States named Raoul Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States in 1981. He stands alongside the Marquis de Lafayette, Winston Churchill and Mother Teresa as one of four people to ever to receive this great honor. It is because of his heroic and humanitarian actions that A STUDY OF HEROES was developed as a living monument to honor Raoul Wallenberg. By sharing heroes’ stories with students, and exploring the issues surrounding personal responsibility, generations to come will understand and keep the principles of non-violent heroism alive.

For more information, please go to: http://www.RaoulWallenberg.org.

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Michael Frenkel
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