Western Brooklyn

Sunday: Raoul Wallenberg Street Co-Naming Ceremony

Source: USHMM Photo Archives Photo #069 via Wikimedia Commons

For the office of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield invites the community to join him and Councilman Brad Lander this Sunday, December 9th at noon at the corner of 13th Avenue and 50th Street in Borough Park for the unveiling of a new street sign in honor of World War II hero and great humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg. The new street sign will formally co-name the Borough Park stretch of 13th Avenue as “Raoul Wallenberg Way” in honor of the Swedish diplomat whose efforts saved more than 100,000 Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis in Hungary.

The City Council approved the co-naming of 13th Avenue between 36th Street and 60th Street earlier this year at the urging of Councilman Greenfield and Councilman Lander to ensure that Wallenberg’s legacy and heroic efforts live on for generations to come. The co-naming is the centerpiece of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission’s efforts throughout the year to commemorate Wallenberg’s 100th birthday.

“I am proud to lead the effort to honor Raoul Wallenberg and urge the entire community to join us for this historic event. Quite literally, there are thousands of people in our community who would not be here today but for Mr. Wallenberg’s intervention. This street co-naming will ensure that generations will know of the sacrifices that this heroic individual made on behalf of so many. It is only right that our community show hakaros hatov for Raoul Wallenberg’s inspiring and selfless actions, so my thanks to my colleague Councilman Brad Lander, the Wallenberg Commission and everyone who worked to make this event a reality,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“I look forward to joining with the community to pay tribute to the life of Raoul Wallenberg. His actions saved so many lives during the Holocaust. He is a hero not just for Jews, but for all of humanity, and his story should never be forgotten,” said Councilmember Lander.

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 Hungarian Jews who were otherwise bound for death in Nazi concentration camps. Serving as first secretary at the Swedish Legation in Budapest, he devised a plan to issue Swedish “protective passports” and establish safe houses in buildings throughout Budapest.

Borough Park is home to the largest population of Holocaust survivors in the United States, and many local families trace their lineage to individuals saved by Raoul Wallenberg, making 13th Avenue a fitting location for Sunday’s ceremony. In addition to local elected officials and community leaders, Honorary Consul General of Hungary Karoly Dan and Honorary Consul General of Sweden David E. R. Dangoor are scheduled to attend the event. This historic event is open to the public. Residents are encouraged to attend this Sunday, Chanukah, at 12 noon at the corner of 50th Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park.

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  1. While the naming is commendable, this is an example of the collective amnesia in present day Borough Park, and how this community has so profoundly changed in the past thirty years or so, from a demographic viewpoint. What was once a thriving community of American Jews, also faithful to their creed (what many of the present day sect Jews located there, would never even consider Jews!) and many Italian Americans, who created a community, that within ten blocks in all directions of this site, saw grow up a virtual who’s who of numerous elevated and talented famous Americans, who attended their local Public Schools, including New Utrecht and Erasmus, who this site could easily be named for, has ironically now become in many ways a “Ghetto”, in certain instances, which was the very kind of place the previous generations of Jews, who happily resided there, along with their Christian bretheren, ironically had escaped Europe to avoid! Oy Vey!


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