By Tanja Schult (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Hero’s Many Faces: Raoul Wallenberg in Contemporary Monuments
It was while working at MEROPA that Wallenberg was chosen for the mission for which posterity remembers him. In June 1944, the Rabbi of Stockholm’s Great Synagogue, Marcus Ehrenpreis, asked Wallenberg’s boss if he knew anyone who would be willing to travel to Hungary to investigate the condition of the Jews in Budapest. 2 Later, after his arrival in Budapest, Wallenberg learned that Lauer’s relatives had already been deported. At about the time of Ehrenpreis’s request and Lauer’s recommendation of Wallenberg, American plans developed to send a Swede to Hungary on behalf of the remaining Jews there.
As we will see, the public’s and art critics’ expectations for the personal monument genre happen to stand in contrast to my rather simplified use. ” However, it seems that only by taking a broad view of the term and the genre is it possible to have an open-minded approach toward the works dedicated to Wallenberg, works that in their outer appearance do indeed differ much from each other. 88 The understanding of the Wallenberg monuments demands recognizing the subject matter we are dealing with and comprehending the higher-ranking question.
This view was reinforced by his extensive travels and enhanced by his talent for languages. As a schoolchild, Raoul was sent abroad to learn French, German, and English. He also learned Russian in school, and started to study Spanish while living in the US. Raoul Wallenberg moved to the US during the middle of the Great Depression at the request of his grandfather, who felt it was important that his grandson experience the American culture and way of life. He studied architecture at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 1931 to 1935, graduating at the top of his class, with honors, and received the American Institute of Architects’ Silver Medal.