The following is a press release from the office of City Councilman David Greenfield:
City Renames 13th Ave to Honor World War II Hero Raoul Wallenberg at Urging of Greenfield and Lander
Brooklyn – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, one of the great heroes of World War II who is credited with saving as many as 100,000 Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazis, will be forever honored along 13th Avenue in Borough Park, which was renamed in his honor at the urging of City Council Members David G. Greenfield and Brad Lander. The renaming of 13thAvenue between 36th Street and 60th Street was approved by the City Council last Wednesday and is the centerpiece of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission, which is commemorating Wallenberg’s 100th birthday this year.
“I am thrilled and grateful that Raoul Wallenberg will be honored and remembered here in Borough Park for generations to come. The largest concentration of holocaust survivors in the United States lives in Borough Park including hundreds of local families who trace their survival to Mr. Wallenberg’s heroism. I thank my colleagues on the City Council for supporting this renaming, which ensures that the name and legacy of Raoul Wallenberg lives on,” said Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Borough Park).
“I am gratified that the legislation to co-name 13th Avenue Raoul Wallenberg Way has been voted on and is on its way to becoming law. ‘Wallenberg Way’ will remind the world of the extraordinary heroism displayed by Raoul Wallenberg in the saving of over 100,000 Jews, many of whom later established their families and communities in Borough Park,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D-Park Slope).
“I want to thank Council Members Greenfield and Lander for taking the initiative to co-name 13th Avenue ‘Wallenberg Way’ in commemoration of Raoul Wallenberg’s centennial,” said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group and spokesman of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission, which was created to highlight Wallenberg’s 100th birthday. “We are grateful to the Council Members for celebrating this milestone and for lobbying to have Wallenberg Way grace the streets of Borough Park.”
Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who put his life on hold in the summer of 1944 and embarked on a mission that led to the saving of as many as 100,000 Jewish Hungarians who were otherwise bound for death in Nazi concentration camps. Serving as first secretary at the Swedish Legation in Budapest, Wallenberg devised a plan to issue Swedish “protective passports” and establish safe houses in buildings throughout Budapest. Many descendants of the survivors call New York City and southern Brooklyn home today.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Wallenberg’s birth, the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission is presenting a national campaign “to highlight the incredible heroism exhibited by Raoul Wallenberg.” The group is also seeking for Wallenberg to be recognized with a Congressional Gold Medal. Once the street renaming is signed into law by the Mayor, a celebration will be held along 13th Avenue to unveil new signs bearing the name ‘Wallenberg Way’.
City Councilman David G. Greenfield represents Council District 44, which includes Borough Park, as well as parts of Midwood and Bensonhurst.