– our role model
The Raoul Wallenberg Schools were founded to provide children and young people with a solid foundation of knowledge, skills and character for the various challenges of life ahead, following the example of Raoul Wallenberg. At the Raoul Wallenberg Schools, we are humbly proud to operate under his name. We are inspired by him as an individual, his various skills and his achievements. Our mission is “to make a positive difference for every single child and pupil in our schools”. And we hope and believe that the years in the Raoul Wallenberg Schools will give our pupils the personal skills needed to make a positive impact on society both today and in the future. Read more about Raoul Wallenberg’s achievements and the Raoul Wallenberg bust that can be found in some of our schools.
Raoul Wallenberg’s achievements
During the latter part of World War II, Raoul Wallenberg, at the age of 32, managed to save thousands of Hungarian Jews in Budapest from certain death in Nazi concentration camps. He worked day and night, fearlessly and selflessly in the latter part of 1944. He mobilised all the skills he had developed throughout his stable and loving upbringing. Thanks to honesty, compassion, courage, action, linguistic competence, leadership and organisational skills, he built in just a few months a counterforce of goodness to the evil of the time and gave hope to 10,000 vulnerable people in Budapest.
But he ultimately paid a very high price – his own life. He was probably executed in a Soviet prison in Moscow in 1947. His life might have been saved if Swedish society had stood up for its hero in the first years after the war.
For his selfless deeds, he is today regarded worldwide as one of the greatest examples of humanism. He has been awarded honorary citizenship of the United States, Canada and Israel. Numerous monuments to him and his achievements have been erected in key locations around the world, and a number of schools, streets and squares have been named after him.
The Raoul Wallenberg bust
On an ordinary day in 1983, a lady is strolling alone through New York’s shopping district and stops at a bookstore. On one of the books in the shop window, she sees the photo of a man who awakens her innermost feelings and she immediately feels his enormous compassion. The man was Raoul Wallenberg. The lady was Lotte Stavisky (1907-2000) an American actress and sculptor with roots in Adolf Hitler’s Germany.
She specialised in creating sculptures of people – known and unknown – who faced difficulties and suffering in life. She said that no matter what difficulties or sufferings a person faces, it is not the difficulties or sufferings themselves that make a person a hero, but it is the way they confront them.
She spent a few days reading all about Raoul Wallenberg and
immediately started work on the sculpture. Within a few weeks it was ready, with the broad forehead, powerful jaw and sad eyes fixed on something in the distance. The sculpture eventually found its way into an antique shop which, by coincidence, was visited by UN official Kofi Annan and his wife Nane, niece of Raoul Wallenberg. In 1996, Kofi Annan was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.
On 4 March 1987, the renowned businessman and politician Ross Perot was awarded the American Raoul Wallenberg Prize for his courage in rescuing American citizens abroad. The prize was visualised with Lotte Stavisky’s Raoul Wallenberg sculpture, which today stands in the foyer of Ross Perot’s head office. The sculpture has also been in the New York Public Library since 1986.
In Sweden, the sculpture is owned by the Raoul Wallenberg family. Following a parliamentary decision in September 2012, the sculpture is also located in the Swedish Parliament (the Riksdag), directly adjacent to the plenary chamber. The Raoul Wallenberg Schools have the right to place copies of the sculpture in its schools, and it can currently be found in some of them, in memory of our great role model.