anti-Nazi German Pastor Martin Niemöller's inscription
on a wall in Auschwitz
The words of our recent tribute to our soldiers, “Therefore, Choose Courage”, cannot remain mere scratches of black on white backgrounds. The words must be lived. Every day and in every way by all citizens in all their endeavours. And not just here at home. We must reach out with vigour and in common cause to communities of conscience around the world. For we live in a time of galloping racism, statism and hate that radically threaten the lives and liberties of all free peoples. There is a fierce urgency of now calling us to marshal this vigour. Sometimes we can find the courage within ourselves. Other times we must look to past profiles in courage to strengthen our resolve.
Raoul Wallenberg’s profile is unparalleled. January 17th, 2007 will mark the 62nd anniversary of his disappearance. The Institute has lent its support to the efforts of Peter Lancz to replicate the Montreal memorial to Wallenberg in Budapest, the very city where Wallenberg stood up to terror and left a transcendental legacy of redemptive character saving some 100,000 people from the murderous hands of Nazi butchers.
We are humbled and gratified that our work has earned the support of Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, who was instrumental in making the Wallenberg Memorial in Montreal a reality in front of Christ Church Cathedral. His letter is reproduced below. It eloquently details what is needed and why. Please take a few moments to read it. I think it will spark your conviction to contribute to this project. I urge you to e-mail us or call the Institute office at 514.875.4884 x.222.
The lessons of the Wallenbergs of this world are our last best hope for our own humanity. They personify the prophecy quoted so often by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. that the day will come when “Justice shall roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream…” Without fidelity to that goal, we will be left with little more than a future of Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of dry bones, forever parched by the horrors of hate and making our lives brittle and arid and stench-filled.~ Beryl Wajsman
The late Paul Lancz, a Hungarian born master sculptor of international renown is the creator of the magnificent Raoul Wallenberg bronze bust memorial that was placed in front of Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal while I was the Dean. It is so powerfully evocative in its portrayal of courage, determination and nobility of spirit, as to all but obviate the need to tell his story. This particular Wallenberg memorial was to serve as the linchpin of a worldwide Raoul Wallenberg campaign against racism. The primary thrust of this endeavor was an educational one, whereby this Wallenberg, the most efficacious and symbolic one of its kind, would be utilized as a tool to edify future generations as to his exemplary heroics.
Through the efforts of Paul Lancz’ son Peter, the City of Budapest has accepted to erect Paul Lancz’ Raoul Wallenberg, most aptly and fittingly, on the grounds of the Raoul Wallenberg School in Budapest. They are committed to assume all costs related to the installation of the sculpture and the perpetuation of the grounds.
The school setting is highly significant in that this may be the first of its kind to grace an educational institution, the very rationale for the international Wallenberg campaign. The school’s motto loosely translated from the Hungarian is as follows, “To live not solely for ourselves but more importantly for others, is the noblest of vocations.” (Madach Imre). Is this not the most eloquent testament to the very raison d’etre of Wallenberg and his illustrious altruism?
The Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal has agreed to help Peter Lancz raise the $35,000 necessary for the production of the new statue and the transportation and ancillary costs of setting it up in Budapest. We believe this is an important initiative worthy of all Canadians’ support. For Wallenberg’s message was one of celebrating, and protecting, our common universalities and the individual rights of man. There could be no nobler signature for our society in this Northern Dominion. I would strongly urge you to lend your support to this important effort of Peter Lancz and the Institute.
The Most Reverend Andrew S. Hutchison
Archbishop and Primate