Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
In the autumn of 1944 Raoul Wallenberg, secretary of the Swedish Embassy in Budapest, arrived in the Hungarian capital with a mission: to do everything possible to save the persecuted Jews who were trapped in the city. During the period of the Arrow Cross regime and the siege of Budapest he rescued thousands of people from deportation and death. On January 17, 1945 he disappeared from Budapest. It became known only two decades later that he had been abducted by the Soviet authorities and held in the notorious Lubyanka prison in Moscow where, according to the latest version of events, he died in 1947. To this day, the real story of his kidnapping and death remains unknown.
The exhibition applies non-conventional forms and solutions: it is an exhibition within an exhibition, a building within a building. Two separate constructions will be erected within the gallery, with rooms and corridors. The larger wing is the original travelling exhibition, a multi-media display of photographs, archival documents, and audio-visual records that trace the life of the Swedish diplomat from his childhood to his death, and include the story of the international efforts to shed light on his fate after his disappearance. The smaller wing houses a section added by OSA Archives, which tells the hectic and controversial story of Wallenberg`s memory in Hungary from 1945 to 1999.
By displaying the life and deeds of Raoul Wallenberg, the organisers have tried to create the portrait of an ordinary man who was compelled by extraordinary circumstances to confront extraordinary challenges: a frail and weak human being who was able to be hero. Let him be an example, particularly for young people: nobody is born to be a hero, but everybody can become one.
Numerous joint programs accompany the exhibition.
There will be a half-day seminar (in English) at the OSA Archivum on March 1.
The most remarkable event will be an all-day educational seminar in the Auditorium of the Central European University (Budapest, 5th district, Nádor utca 9) on March 2.
Entrance to the exhibition and to all the connected events (seminars, film-screenings, public lectures and student programs) is free.
Swedish Institute, Stockholm
Swedish Embassy in Budapest
OSA Archivum, Budapest
Jewish Museum, Stockholm
Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest
Raoul Wallenberg Association, Budapest