Readers weigh in on previous issues of the 'Magazine.'

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Keeping the flame
Sir, – With regard to “70 years: Raoul Wallenberg’s abduction by the Russians on January 17, 1945” (Testimony, January 16), Louise von Dardel presents an interesting account of her uncle’s feats and above all, poses the right questions: How do we remember him? How can we learn from him? By following the path set by her dear late father, Prof. Guy von Dardel (who was Raoul’s half-brother), we at the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation try to address both questions.
On the one hand, we are looking for answers regarding Wallenberg’s fate and whereabouts.
In this framework, we have established a €500,000 reward for any scientifically reliable information that could help us bring him and his driver, Vilmos Langfelder, back home. On the other hand, we try to instill in the young generations the values of solidarity inspired by Wallenberg and those like him.
Recently, for instance, almost coinciding with the 70th anniversary of his disappearance, we took part in two events in Tel Aviv. The first was organized by the Kantor Center, led by Prof. Dina Porat. That same evening, together with the Estonian and Swedish embassies, we organized the screening of the opera Wallenberg by famed Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.
Hours earlier, our staff in Rome unveiled a plaque at the Casa di Santa Brigida Convent, where Jewish women and children had found refuge in the dark days of the Holocaust.
The plaque marks the place as a House of Life, an initiative we launched a few months earlier, also in the spirit of Wallenberg and other rescuers. So far, we have identified well over 100 potential Houses of Life.
We pledge to continue our work on both fronts: trying to secure answers regarding Raoul the victim, and educating the young generation about Raoul the hero.
New York
The writers are chairman and founder, respectively, of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.
Leipzig’s ‘ausjuden’
Sir, – I read with great interest “The commercial and educational hub of Germany” (History, January 9) by Irving Spitz.
I feel, however, that he glossed over the contributions to the development of Leipzig by the Jewish community, in particular those of the Jews who migrated from Poland at the turn of the 19th century.
These ausjuden were mainly Orthodox; they were instrumental in developing the fur trade, with factories and warehouses.
Once can still see, in the town center by the Bruhlstrasse, the buildings that are adorned with sculptures of the heads of various animals.
At the entrance to the street is a large memorial plaque listing the names of all the Jewish-owned businesses.
One can also see today the building that was formerly the Orthodox day school established in 1913 by Rabbi Ephraim Carlebach, father of the famed Shlomo Carlebach. Here, too, there is a poignant memorial mentioning that from there, the Jews were collected and transported to the concentration camps. Interestingly, the building serves today as a school for the blind; in the entrance hall, one can still find class photos of taken until 1937-1938.
Well worth a visit as well is the New Cemetery on the outskirts of the town. It was founded by the community that survived, almost intact, the rampages of the Gestapo thanks to the bravery of the priest of the church next door – who claimed the land was leased from the church and thus couldn’t be touched.
Most of this community of just under 3,000 survived because they were considered foreigners, and were expelled forcibly back to Poland at the end of 1938 and beginning of 1939.
From there, as they knew the score, most managed to escape in time to London, particularly Hendon, and the US. My mother managed to get out with two of her sisters on the Kindertransport to London in January 1939.
I visited Leipzig in 2006 and was taken around by a very fine non-Jewish lawyer, Hubert Lang, who is an expert on this community.
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