14. The Wiener Library opens new exhibition, joins Copac

The Wiener Library opens new exhibition, joins Copac

The Wiener Library has been busy in autumn 2012 with a new temporary exhibition and the addition of the Library’s catalogue to the Copac database.

On Thursday 4 October, The Wiener Library opened the new temporary exhibition, ‘Rescues of the Holocaust: Remembering Raoul Wallenberg and Lives Saved ’ which marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg. Between 1944 and 1945, Raoul Wallenberg helped tens of thousands of Jews escape Nazi-occupied Hungary before he was detained by Soviet forces and subsequently disappeared. For this exhibition, The Wiener Library’s unique archival collection brings to life four remarkable stories of rescue efforts undertaken by ordinary individuals to save lives imperilled by the Nazi regime.

Image of Raoul Wallenberg:

Photo of Raoul Wallenberg

The items on display in the exhibition include a ‘certificate of authenticity’ bearing Raoul Wallenberg’s signature and pamphlets distributed by humanitarian organisations like the National Committee for Rescue from Nazi Terror calling for help for refugees. Personal papers tell the story of Berlin department store owner Wilfrid Israel who arranged for his Jewish staff to flee Germany and continued to pay their salaries even after the Nazis had closed his business. A visitor pass for the Gestapo headquarters in Vienna illustrates the story of Elinor Adler whose father was arrested by the Gestapo before she left for England on the Kindertransport. And finally, there is the extraordinary story of two sisters from Wandsworth, Ida and Louise Cook, whose love of opera took them to European theatres where they learned about the plight of Europe’s Jews. They offered to smuggle valuables into England for Jewish families and Ida Cook financed their rescue missions by writing romance novels for Mills & Boon, two of which are on display.