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Week of January 28, 2013

Wallenberg exhibition tells the story of a remarkable life

An exhibit that tells the remarkable story of a young Swede and U-M graduate who saved tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust is coming to the Michigan Union.

The monthlong exhibition, “To me there’s no other choice: Raoul Wallenberg 1912-2012,” will be on display in the Art Lounge of the Michigan Union following an opening reception Jan. 30. The exhibit runs through March 1.

John Godfrey, chair of the U-M Wallenberg Committee, contacted the Swedish Foreign Ministry to arrange the exhibition.

“It is wonderful that we are able to host this exhibition at the U-M where Raoul Wallenberg began his journey as an adult. And it is fitting that it will be in the Michigan Union, a building that Wallenberg knew well,” Godfrey says.

On the centenary of Wallenberg’s birth, the exhibit tells the heroic story of the 1935 U-M architecture graduate. Created by the Swedish Institute for the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exhibit recounts Wallenberg’s life, including his time in Budapest during the final months of the Holocaust, and the years he spent in Ann Arbor and traveling in America. In January 1945, Soviet authorities detained Wallenberg in Budapest; his fate remains unknown. 

The exhibit has been augmented with additional information about his time on campus in Ann Arbor. It is presented by U-M, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Consulate General of Detroit. During the past year, the exhibition has traveled to Budapest, Berlin, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Ottawa, Toronto, New York and Washington, D.C.

The exhibit will open with a reception from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday at the Michigan Union Ballroom. Remarks will be given by President Mary Sue Coleman; Jonas Hafström, Swedish ambassador to the United States; Monica Ponce de Leon, dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Holocaust survivor Irene Butter, co-founder of the U-M Wallenberg Executive Committee; and Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlberg, author of the award-winning book “There is a Room Waiting for You Here: The Story of Raoul Wallenberg.” 

Carlberg also will give the Taubman College’s annual Wallenberg Lecture from 2:30-3:45 p.m. Jan. 30 in Room 100 of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. Her biography of Wallenberg won the 2012 August Prize for the best Swedish nonfiction book. It is being translated into English for publication in the U.S.

Exhibit sponsors include the Taubman College; Alumni Association; The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation; LSA; Detroit Swedish Foundation; International Institute; Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies; Jenny Lind Club of Michigan; Office of the Provost; Rackham Graduate School; Scandinavian Studies Program; SACC-Detroit; SWEA-Michigan; Swedish Club of Detroit; U-M Hillel; Wallenberg Executive Committee; University Library; Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia; and the Office of the Vice President for Global Communications.

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STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Mary Kay Pauley, facilities coordinator, University Human Resources, on her “Kay’s Bears” project: “It gives me great pleasure to be able to create something that brings comfort to families.”

EVENTS

“The Birthday Party: Ceramic Sculpture” by Marcia Polenberg, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. through Feb. 4, Gifts of Art Gallery, University Hospital Main Lobby, Floor 1.

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