Monday, February 13, 2012
Children are asked to read biographies all through the year at our school, and though there are thousands of biographies in print and hundreds in our collection, we always search for even more unique people to bring to readers. Louise Borden's latest book - His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg - introduces readers to an incredible human being. Born in Sweden, he took a post in Budapest, Hungary during World War II to save Jewish people from Nazi marches and death camps. Using methods like collective passports, schutzpasses, and buildings designated as Swedish property, he saved thousands of lives. Determined to keep the Jews safe until the Russians liberated them, Wallenberg instead was taken to Lubyanka Prison in 1945 and never heard from again.
When a teenage photographer named Tom Veres was without a position (after Hungarian Admiral Horthy resigned), he became Raoul's photographer, capturing historical images that otherwise would have been unknown.
"At first he was afraid he would be caught, but Raoul's courage inspired the young Hungarian. Tom cut a narrow hole in his woolen scarf and then hid his Leica camera...pointing the lens through the slit so that the Nazis wouldn't notice when he took photos." - p. 100
Engaging from start to finish, the author's extensive research and image collection add to the biography's intrigue.