This year we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg, the courageous Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Hungary during World War II.
The people of Hungary, Sweden and Israel treasure the memory of the martyred Swedish diplomat. The Governments of Sweden and Hungary declared 2012 as the Wallenberg Year with the motto: ”Man amidst inhumanity”. In Israel, Wallenberg has been recognized by Yad Vashem, the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations," those exceptional souls who risked their lives to save Jews. Raoul Wallenberg was granted honorary Israeli citizenship in 1986 and became an honorary citizen of Budapest in 2003.
With regard of the heavy losses of the Greek people and the Jewish community during the time of World War II, the life and legacy of Wallenberg has also a message to the Greek public. In a turbulent time burdened with economic difficulties it provides a good occasion to draw lessons from the past and to reach out to the younger generations by supporting the idea of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.The year of commemoration is an opportunity to remember the life and accomplishments of Raoul Wallenberg, but also to reflect on our need for courage and humanity today. It is in this spirit the Hungarian Embassy in close cooperation with the Embassies of Israel and Sweden have organized a successful seminar in Athens in 2 July with the participation of well recognized researchers and speakers from Israel, Hungary, Sweden and Greece. (the program of the event and a link to a photo gallery is attached)
Furthermore an exhibition about the life and work of Raoul Wallenberg will be presented by the Hungarian Embassy in Thessaloniki and Athens in the second half of the year with archive materials.
by the Director of the Jewish Museum of Greece, Ms. Zanet Battinou.