Raoul Wallenberg Day was designated by the Government of Canada in 2001 to honour Wallenberg, Canada’s first honorary citizen, who is credited with saving the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews. When Soviet forces liberated Budapest in February 1945, more than 100,000 Jews remained, mostly because of the efforts of Wallenberg and his colleagues. Wallenberg disappeared on January 17, 1945. His righteous heroism is a legacy and inspiration for all Canadians. For more information about Raoul Wallenberg, please visit the Holocaust Encyclopedia of the USHMM.
The Neuberger presents an annual commemorative and educational program, which incorporates a specially curated Neuberger film with excerpts of survivor testiomonies from the Canadian Collection, and a film highlighting courageous actions of Righteous Among the Nations and addresses the history of the Holocaust in Hungary.
This year the Neuberger marks Raoul Wallenberg Day with a special program exploring the legacies and memory of rescue during the Holocaust and today. From January 15th to 17th, audiences will have access to The Crossing, a 2020 film that tells the story of how two young Norwegian children helped two Jewish children flee to neutral Sweden to escape the Nazis and reunite with their parents. The Crossing celebrates the courageous actions taken by ordinary children, and reminds the audience about the extraordinary steps it can take to save another.
On January 17 at 7:30pm, we will explore the important legacy of Wallenberg through the firsthand testimony of survivors and the campaign to recognize his heroics. We will discuss the contemporary legacies of Wallenberg's memory, and will be joined by Winnie Luk, the Managing Director of Rainbow Railroad, to learn about what efforts are being taken today to help people around the world experienced state-sanctioned violence and persecution.
Winnie Luk is the Managing Director of Rainbow Railroad, a non-profit that works to support LGBTQ individuals seeking safe haven from state-sponsored violence. She previously was the Director of Operations and Events for Inside Out, the annual Toronto and Ottawa LGBT Film Festival, and is a shareholder in the world's oldest LGBTQ bookstore, Glad Day Bookshop.
Be sure to register for the Holocaust Education Week Channel on the Virtual J in order to view the film and talkback.
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