By Tanja Schult
Raoul Wallenberg is extensively remembered for his humanitarian job on behalf of the Hungarian Jews in Budapest on the finish of global warfare II, and often called the Swedish diplomat who disappeared into the Soviet Gulag in 1945. this day, Wallenberg’s instance is used to speak humanitarian values and human rights in lots of democratic societies. His tale encompasses a classical hero narrative which has survived the ‘un-heroic’ twentieth century.
In 2008, there exist thirty-one Wallenberg monuments in twelve international locations on 5 continents, from Hungary to Sweden, from Canada to Chile, from Australia to Russia. the wealthy variety of the monuments invitations to debate the several suggestions of Wallenberg and heroism as expressed within the artists’ works. The art-historical concentration of this interdisciplinary examine makes it a invaluable contribution to the dialogue of non-public monuments, in addition to to the socio-historical learn at the commemoration of Wallenberg and the idea that of the hero.
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Additional info for A Hero's Many Faces: Raoul Wallenberg in Contemporary Monuments (Holocaust and Its Contexts)
60 That may be the case for a national memorial that is kept alive by annual commemorative ceremonies. But how shall other monuments succeed in attracting interest in a historical event or person if not by their own presence? This will happen only if their design succeeds in attracting attention, thus having the power to spread knowledge about the subject to whom they are dedicated, to keep memory alive, and to shape future remembrance. 62 Introduction 21 The reconstruction of the brief history or the historical context can, of course, help avoid misinterpretation or help one to come to a deeper reading of a monument.
The monument is a lasting result of a prior process, but it has to speak for itself. 59 Consequently, I disagree with James E. ”60 That may be the case for a national memorial that is kept alive by annual commemorative ceremonies. But how shall other monuments succeed in attracting interest in a historical event or person if not by their own presence? This will happen only if their design succeeds in attracting attention, thus having the power to spread knowledge about the subject to whom they are dedicated, to keep memory alive, and to shape future remembrance.
This phenomenon points to the universal character of the Wallenberg narrative. An investigation of all Wallenberg monuments in these countries from the angle of national memory would, however, be met with a number of serious problems; the necessary language skills would be the least of these. The documentary evidence about the monuments’ brief histories varies enormously in the various cases and is often difficult to collect at all. In many cases, it is a real challenge to identify the key persons responsible for a monument’s coming to existence and establish the true motives for the person’s engagement.