Raoul Wallenberg (B.S. Arch ‘35), rescuer of tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, is among the University of Michigan’s most illustrious alumni. On the centenary of his birth, the University of Michigan, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Consulate General of Detroit are presenting an exhibition that tells the story of a young Swede and U-M alumnus whose choices in life made him an immortal hero. In January 1945 Soviet authorities detained Wallenberg in Budapest; his fate remains unknown.
Created by the Swedish Institute for the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exhibition tells the story of 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. The exhibition has been augmented with additional information about his time on campus in Ann Arbor. During the past year, the exhibition has traveled to Budapest, Berlin, Moscow, Tel Aviv, New York, Washington, DC, Ottawa, and Toronto.
On Thursday, January 30, the exhibition opened with a reception from 4-6 p.m. in the Michigan Union Ballroom. Remarks provided by University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman, Swedish ambassador to the U.S. Jonas Hafström, dean of the University of Michigan A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Monica Ponce de Leon, University of Michigan Wallenberg Executive Committee co-founder and Holocaust survivor Irene Butter, and Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlberg, author of the award-winning book There is a Room Waiting for you Here: The Story of Raoul Wallenberg.
Also on January 30, in connection with the opening of the exhibition, Ingrid Carlberg gave the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning’s annual Wallenberg Lecture from 2-3:45 p.m. in Room 100 of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, which is located on the Diag of the University of Michigan’s central campus. Carlberg’s biography of Raoul Wallenberg won the 2012 August Prize for the best Swedish nonfiction book. It is being translated into English for publication in the U.S.
Photos by Peter Smith, Peter Smith Photography