Three years of research into the life of Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg—that included traveling to Europe to interview family, government officials, and Holocaust survivors—will be presented by two Hobart College seniors. William Ferris IV and Jonathan Widmark have been researching the life of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat and hero of World War II, credited with saving more than 100,000 Jews from extermination. Their work, driven by a passion to tell the story of Wallenberg’s courage in the face of unspeakable horror, has been made into a multimedia presentation called “Sacrifice of Self: Raoul Wallenberg and the Truth Behind the Man, Myth, and Martyr” that will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in the Geneva Room.
The research conducted by the two young men has been extensive. With financial support from Hobart alumnus Stuart S. Piltch, Ferris and Widmark have conducted research in Hungary, Switzerland and Sweden, meeting with members of the Wallenberg family, Holocaust survivors, people who had assisted Wallenberg, Swedish government officials, and academics. They visited monuments, former safe houses, the old Swedish legation, and the Danube River to which countless Jews were marched, shot and then tossed into the river. Their interviews were photographed and recorded on audio and videotape and have been compiled into this multimedia presentation.
The event is held in conjunction with the Genocide in the 20th Century lecture series, established at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1999. The event is free and the public is invited.