His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg Info

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An amazing and inspirational World War II story about how one
man saved the lives of many.

Raoul Wallenberg’s name may
not be a universally familiar one, but the impact he had is
immeasurable. Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in
Budapest during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He did
this by issuing protective passports and housing Jews in buildings
established as Swedish territory, saving tens of thousands of lives.
Louise Borden researched Wallenberg’s life for many years,
visiting with his family and the site of his childhood home, and learned
his story from beginning to end. Wallenberg himself has not been heard
from since 1945. It is suspected he died while in Russian custody,
though this has never been proven. Raoul Wallenberg . . . it’s a
name you may not have known, but you’ll never forget his
story.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg:

5

Feb 10, 2013

This book is the definitive juvenile biography of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. While serving as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory saving tens of thousands of lives. Author Borden has a unique and appealing technique. (She also created the critically acclaimed title, The Journey That Saved Curious George.) The This book is the definitive juvenile biography of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. While serving as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory saving tens of thousands of lives. Author Borden has a unique and appealing technique. (She also created the critically acclaimed title, The Journey That Saved Curious George.) The double-spaced text and wide margins make the book accessible and poetic, without compromising the importance of the historical content. The book is also a collage of photographs and letters. Borden has the latest information from Russia about Wallenberg's mysterious disappearance at the end of World War II and subsequent death. This book justly won the 2013 Sidney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers. ...more
5

Jul 04, 2012

In January, I was very pleased to learn that Louise Borden and her book His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg had been named winner of the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The Sydney Taylor Book Awards are given annually to those outstanding works that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

Born into a relatively well-to-do family of bankers in Stockholm, Sweden in 1912, Raoul Wallenberg was always excited and curious about everything and his In January, I was very pleased to learn that Louise Borden and her book His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg had been named winner of the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The Sydney Taylor Book Awards are given annually to those outstanding works that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

Born into a relatively well-to-do family of bankers in Stockholm, Sweden in 1912, Raoul Wallenberg was always excited and curious about everything and his endeavors were encouraged and supported by his family. At age 11, he traveled alone from Sweden to Turkey on the Orient Express to visit his grandfather, Gustaf Wallenberg, Sweden's minister to Turkey. And at age 19, he left Sweden to attend college at the University of Michigan, majoring in Engineering. When he returned to Europe, Raoul spent time travelling and as he did, he began to hear stories from Jews who has escaped Hitler's Germany, stories about new laws, beatings and even murder inflicted on Jews by the Nazi government.

Raoul had taken a job and was an excellent salesman, helped by his ability to speak different languages. But pretty soon the world was at war. As he watched country after country fall to Nazi occupation, he worried about Sweden's neutrality. Denmark and Norway, close neighbor, had already fallen to the Nazis. When roundups and deportations were announced in Denmark in 1943, Sweden gave permission for Danish Jews to enter the country, saved by the many Danish fisherman willing to sail them there. Swedish freedom and neutrality remained intact.

Hungary was also a country with a large Jewish population, but it was not a neutral and in 1944, it, too, became a Nazi occupied country. Roundups and deportations of Hungarian Jews began and many went to the Swedish embassy seeking visas to Sweden. But the War Refugee Board in America wanted a neutral Swede to organize some relief for the Jews in Hungary. Raoul Wallenberg, with his many languages and skill as a salesman, was just the person they needed.

Wallenberg devised a legal looking Protection Pass or Schutzpass that were like Swedish passports and protected the bearer from deportation. Wallenberg even created a single Schutzpass that protected whole families. But the Schutzpass, which probably saved around 20,000 people, was only one way Wallenberg worked to help Hungarian Jews.

Ironically, the man who worked tirelessly to save Jews, was picked up by the Soviet military in Hungary and on January 17, 1945, he was last seen being driven away in a Soviet car, and was never to be heard from again.

The details of Wallenberg's life and the work he did saving Jews in Hungary are all nicely detailed in-depth in Borden's free verse biography of this incredible man. His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg is beautifully put together, divided into 15 sections, each one chronicling a period of Wallenberg's life with a wealth of supporting photographs and other documents that give a comprehensive picture of his life as he grows and changes and even goes beyond his disappearance up to the present. As you will discover when you read the Author's Note at the back, Borden had the privilege of working closely with his family over many years and so had much more personal insight into the real child and man that was Raoul Wallenberg than biographers are generally privy to. And that shows throughout the book.

But His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg is more than just a biography, it is a shining example of one man who rose to the challenge at a very bleak time in history and who made a difference in the world, saving so many Hungarian Jews from certain death. Borden has written a book that is a fine addition to the whole body of Holocaust literature and anyone interested in the Jewish experience at that time.

Raoul Wallenberg was named Righteous Among The Nations by Yad Vashem in 1963 in Israel.

Come back tomorrow for an interview with Louise Borden.

This book is recommended for readers age 12+
This book was purchased for my personal library
...more
5

Apr 05, 2012

At first the free verse arrangement put me off. However, it did work for this book. The combination of less text with fascinating illustrations worked very well. The designer of this book deserves a lot of praise. The fact that there was less text isn't a criticism. In fact, it may be a bonus for getting reluctant readers hooked on the book.

I was crying during a lot of this. Every now and then someone just is by nature a really good person, a "lamed Vav" if you know the Jewish belief about At first the free verse arrangement put me off. However, it did work for this book. The combination of less text with fascinating illustrations worked very well. The designer of this book deserves a lot of praise. The fact that there was less text isn't a criticism. In fact, it may be a bonus for getting reluctant readers hooked on the book.

I was crying during a lot of this. Every now and then someone just is by nature a really good person, a "lamed Vav" if you know the Jewish belief about righteous people. Quick explanation: some Jews believe that there are always 36 really righteous people in the world and if the number ever decreases, the world is in serious trouble. These people may or may not know what they are, but they will always act righteously. Which is very different from lawfully, or even morally. Wallenberg had absolutely no trouble lying to authorities in order to protect Jews. His very public actions actually served to protect him from the Nazis. He blatantly handed out these completely fabricated version of passports, blithely used official Swedish paperwork to make his fiction look real and waved it in front of Nazis who tended to be quite respectful of official paperwork. BTW I should probably note, he DID do this with the knowledge and encouragement of the Swedish government.

He managed to save an incredible number of Jews, how many no one really knows, but in the thousands. The Nazis never had the nerve to arrest and execute him since they wanted to do business with the Swedes. However, once the Soviets conquered Budapest, they had no problems arresting him, and likely executing him. No one knows what happened to him, or his trusted driver, who drove him to the appointment with the Soviets. They did eventually turn over some of his personal belongings to his family but never really said what happened to him or why they arrested him to begin with. Borden actually met with Wallenberg's beloved sister and her husband, as well as other people who knew Wallenberg or knew of him. There was horrendous evil in the book, which won't be new info if there is a background in WWII history, but Wallenberg was, well, a lamed vav. Not even as low as a mensch which is Hebrew for a really fine upstanding person. If you need something to restore your faith in people, read this book. ...more
5

Aug 23, 2013

An excellent biography of the diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish lives in Budapest during World War II. I had heard of him before but I had no idea of the extent of his efforts, and this book does an excellent job of explaining the circumstances of the Jews' plight during the siege of Budapest, and how the Swedish and other neutral national diplomats worked to save them. The book tells of Raoul's childhood and upbringing and how he learned five languages and was a world traveler by the time An excellent biography of the diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish lives in Budapest during World War II. I had heard of him before but I had no idea of the extent of his efforts, and this book does an excellent job of explaining the circumstances of the Jews' plight during the siege of Budapest, and how the Swedish and other neutral national diplomats worked to save them. The book tells of Raoul's childhood and upbringing and how he learned five languages and was a world traveler by the time the war started, all skills that helped place him in the ideal position to work with government officials of many countries when he was needed. A fascinating story, told in a suspenseful manner. (I was really hoping for a happy ending!) Book is wonderfully designed, with the text designed in short phrases for lots of white space, like verse, and good use of color design elements among all the black and white photos and scans of Schutzpasses, etc. illustrating the book. ...more
2

Mar 10, 2016

This book is written in an odd free-verse style interspersed with historic photographs. I did not particularly like it. In order to make sure my biases were valid, I showed it to other Young Adults who felt the same way as me: the style actually takes away from the story!

The cadence and word selection do not reflect the heroism and sacrifice of this Swedish diplomat who gave his life in order to save Hungarian Jews during the dark days of WWII. The book contains very little of Wallenberg's own This book is written in an odd free-verse style interspersed with historic photographs. I did not particularly like it. In order to make sure my biases were valid, I showed it to other Young Adults who felt the same way as me: the style actually takes away from the story!

The cadence and word selection do not reflect the heroism and sacrifice of this Swedish diplomat who gave his life in order to save Hungarian Jews during the dark days of WWII. The book contains very little of Wallenberg's own words and way too much about the people who worked with him. I suppose that is more the editor than the author's fault....

From a historic point of view this is an interesting book. Too bad it was written in a way that distracted from the great acts of a forgotten martyr for human rights. ...more
5

Feb 21, 2012

Fabulous book. The format makes it very easy to read, and the book is gorgeous to look at. Raoul Wallenberg's story is fascinating, and it has me wondering why we have movies like Schindler's List, about Schindler who had not the greatest moral compass, and yet we don't have feature films about Wallenberg. Something's wrong here! Props to Louise Borden for making sure that Raoul Wallenberg becomes more than just a side note in youth books about WWII. This is highly recommended for any library Fabulous book. The format makes it very easy to read, and the book is gorgeous to look at. Raoul Wallenberg's story is fascinating, and it has me wondering why we have movies like Schindler's List, about Schindler who had not the greatest moral compass, and yet we don't have feature films about Wallenberg. Something's wrong here! Props to Louise Borden for making sure that Raoul Wallenberg becomes more than just a side note in youth books about WWII. This is highly recommended for any library collection. ...more
5

Nov 05, 2011

17 June 2011 HIS NAME WAS RAOUL WALLENBERG: COURAGE, RESCUE, AND MYSTERY DURING WORLD WAR II by Louise Borden, Houghton Mifflin, January 2012, 144p., ISBN: 978-0-618-50755-9

"Raoul told Per that he had an even better idea:
the Swedes would change the letter of protection
into a blue and yellow passport.
They would keep the three crowns of Sweden
but add a photo of the passport holder
and the Swedish minister's personal signature.
Raoul hoped that the Nazis
would respect a fancy document.

"The two 17 June 2011 HIS NAME WAS RAOUL WALLENBERG: COURAGE, RESCUE, AND MYSTERY DURING WORLD WAR II by Louise Borden, Houghton Mifflin, January 2012, 144p., ISBN: 978-0-618-50755-9

"Raoul told Per that he had an even better idea:
the Swedes would change the letter of protection
into a blue and yellow passport.
They would keep the three crowns of Sweden
but add a photo of the passport holder
and the Swedish minister's personal signature.
Raoul hoped that the Nazis
would respect a fancy document.

"The two friends decided to call the new document
a schutzpass...
schutz for protection
and pass for passport.
The words would be typed
in both German and Hungarian:
This person has plans to travel to Sweden...
Until the date of departure,
he and his family and his property
are under the protection
of the Royal Swedish Government."

From San Francisco's famed Fillmore Auditorium on Geary Boulevard, it is a short walk over to Raoul Wallenberg Traditional High School. In addition to being a fine educational institution, Wallenberg High, which opened in 1981, has gained notice as a popular skateboarding center. According to Wikipedia, "The Wallenberg 4,' a large 4-step staircase at the high school, is a very popular skateboarding spot" where "pro skater Chris Cole did his famous tre flip."

There is a 1944 photo of Raoul Wallenberg in Wikipedia which reveals a prematurely balding 32-year old who has the look of a mild-mannered professorial or accountant sort-of-a-guy. Wikipedia explains that Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of lives and that there are streets and monuments in his honor all over the world.

HIS NAME WAS RAOUL WALLENBERG is a fascinating work of narrative nonfiction, told in prose poetry, and filled with photographs, about the first 32 years of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg's life. What happened to Wallenberg after that remains a mystery.

This is a cruel and ironic mystery. Wallenberg scammed every which way to protect Hungarian Jews in Budapest from being taken away and exterminated like the other millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust. By issuing his schutzpasses and then housing more and more Jews in the apartment buildings he rented in Budapest and put under the protection of the Swedish government, Wallenberg hoped to stave off disaster until the approaching Russian Army could defeat the Germans in Hungary. And then, just as Budapest was liberated by the Russians, Wallenberg and his driver were taken into custody by Russian Army intelligence and never seen again.

HIS NAME WAS RAOUL WALLENBERG is the story of how a boy in Stockholm, born into a famous banking family, would find himself educated, equipped, and in the position to save so many lives. In the process of reading his story, we learn a lot about Sweden and about the complex alliances of WWII.

And we learn how some people really "walk the walk," putting their hearts into helping others, no matter what the consequences.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com
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5

Sep 14, 2016

This historical biography tells the incredible story of a hero during WWII, a man who saved numerous people. Accurate and detailed, His Name Was Raoul Wallenburg is very well-written.
2

May 21, 2013

I mean no disrespect by giving this book only two stars. It was a very well researched book and was filled with excellent information, I just can't say that I enjoyed it. I did appreciate learning about an unknown hero of the Holocaust, much like Oscar Schindler.

The format of this book was set up like a middle school research-type book. The lexile is high for a middle-school level book (1080 - 10th grade), which would make it an excellent addition to the library/curriculum for middle school I mean no disrespect by giving this book only two stars. It was a very well researched book and was filled with excellent information, I just can't say that I enjoyed it. I did appreciate learning about an unknown hero of the Holocaust, much like Oscar Schindler.

The format of this book was set up like a middle school research-type book. The lexile is high for a middle-school level book (1080 - 10th grade), which would make it an excellent addition to the library/curriculum for middle school (especially for common core). Another common core perk is that it is filled with primary sources. I will add this to my high school library, but I do not think it would be an appropriate choice for Gateway. ...more
4

Oct 24, 2011

Great biography of the Swedish diplomat who saved many Hungarian Jews from deportation to death camps 1944-45 and then was arrested and imprisoned by the Soviets.
4

Aug 04, 2014

As I read this non-fiction book, I kept thinking about the children sledding down the hill with their jackets filled with money as the Nazis looked on. Wallenberg did much to rescue the Jews living in Hungary. This story, written in prose, tells his story.
4

Dec 18, 2013

Concise poetic language combined with historic and contemporary photographs, documents, and maps brings Raoul Wallenberg’s story to life. I knew him as a man who’d done great things during World War II and whose fate was a mystery but sadly I really didn’t know anything about his life. I felt ashamed to recognize this gap in my knowledge of WWII history and glad to learn more about him.

Borden’s book felt like a striking departure from your ordinary biography. It didn’t have the same Concise poetic language combined with historic and contemporary photographs, documents, and maps brings Raoul Wallenberg’s story to life. I knew him as a man who’d done great things during World War II and whose fate was a mystery but sadly I really didn’t know anything about his life. I felt ashamed to recognize this gap in my knowledge of WWII history and glad to learn more about him.

Borden’s book felt like a striking departure from your ordinary biography. It didn’t have the same seat-of-your-pants appeal of Sheinkin’s Bomb but was still a compelling story about Wallenberg’s life. I thought the book was very well laid out with lots of images and lots of white space. What was especially interesting though was her use of language. She pared down her words to express what was important to further the story and still create a vivid picture of Wallenberg’s life. For example, she said “There wasn’t an open seat left on the 5:21 p.m. train to Vienna.” She could have just said Wallenberg left on the 5:21 pm train to Vienna. Her poetic use of words brought the story to life.

This economy of language also makes the book well suited to a younger audience of readers who could have been put off by the subject matter. Her ability to use primary sources and interesting facts means kids have a chance to explore the story without being put off by lengthy passages and boring facts. The design underscores this with its use of numerous images and lots of white space.

Borden follows the chronology of Wallenberg’s life and bolsters her authority with a table of contents, extensive bibliography, photo credits, index, acknowledgement and author’s note. I liked the photos of the author with some of the principals in the story. This brings history to life and connects it to the present day. Borden’s inclusion of a list of video recordings about Wallenberg was a smart move. For this younger generation, watching is often preferable to reading and her list provides a way to get more information.

The book was divided into sections which broke up the text into manageable chunks of information. This is especially helpful for younger readers.

One thing I wondered about, however, was exactly how Wallenberg came to feel so acutely protective of Jews. Was it because he saw how Nazi Germany was scapegoating them and saw it as a basic human rights issue or did he have Jewish friends who sensitized him to their plight? Was and is Sweden one of those rare countries in which anti-Semitism is missing? I couldn’t help but wonder.

This book shows how images of primary sources such as photos of the Schutz-Pass can be used to personalize the story and remind us that it was the lives of real people at stake during the war. At first I wondered why so many Schutz-Passes were included but when I really started looking at the people’s faces in the photos, I realized how it humanized the story.

I also thought it was pretty amazing that Wallenberg’s niece grew up to marry Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations. The Wallenberg family must be a pretty incredible bunch!

This book is an excellent addition to a school or public library, and most likely suited for kids in fourth or fifth grade and up. My only concern is, how exactly do you get kids to read non-fiction? Whenever I visit my local library, I see lots of kids going through the shelves of non-fiction but very few in the non-fiction area. I think lots of kids see the non-fiction part of the public library as a place where you get books for school reports and projects, not for pleasurable reading. As the books in this week’s selection show, contemporary non-fiction can provide just as much joy as works of fiction. ...more
4

Dec 24, 2015

An interesting biography, almost written in verse, and including tons of archival photos. This is the story of a little-known man who saved thousands of Jews in Hungary by basically bullshitting the Nazis. A diplomat from Sweden, he created thousands of passes for Jews with connections to Sweden proclaiming them under Royal Swedish protection and saving them from the Nazis. The cover misled me a little bit because I was expecting to read about a teenage hero when in reality Wallenberg was in his An interesting biography, almost written in verse, and including tons of archival photos. This is the story of a little-known man who saved thousands of Jews in Hungary by basically bullshitting the Nazis. A diplomat from Sweden, he created thousands of passes for Jews with connections to Sweden proclaiming them under Royal Swedish protection and saving them from the Nazis. The cover misled me a little bit because I was expecting to read about a teenage hero when in reality Wallenberg was in his 20s and 30s during the war, but that makes his efforts no less exceptional. I would hand this to teens and tweens interested in Holocaust figures like Anne Frank and Oskar Schindler. ...more
0

Jul 19, 2012

One of our area libraries was talking about this author and what an excellent book this was for children regarding people who decided to make a difference during WWII. This biography is about the life of one man from Sweden whose education, family and business and political influences helped saved thousands of Jewish people from Nazi labor and death camps. Filled with maps, pictures of passports and documents, and newly discovered photography from a Russian prison, this books shows how one man One of our area libraries was talking about this author and what an excellent book this was for children regarding people who decided to make a difference during WWII. This biography is about the life of one man from Sweden whose education, family and business and political influences helped saved thousands of Jewish people from Nazi labor and death camps. Filled with maps, pictures of passports and documents, and newly discovered photography from a Russian prison, this books shows how one man decided to do something to help humanity during the Nazi invasions across Europe. It also shows the importance of our human connection and what it means both the risk and the sacrifice to do the right thing. Add to classroom curriculum on Holocaust studies, pick it up for historical reading on WWII, or those interested in heroic biographies. ...more
4

Jan 01, 2012

I've know the broad outlines of the story of Raoul Wallenberg since I was a teenager, but I really didn't have a good idea about many of the details. This book is written for a young reader, so it doesn't have a wealth of depth, but it still does a good job of showing Wallenberg's life and personality, so we understand how he became one of the great heroes of the Second World War. His efforts to save the Jews of Hungary remain a truly heroic humanitarian effort. His mysterious disappearance (and I've know the broad outlines of the story of Raoul Wallenberg since I was a teenager, but I really didn't have a good idea about many of the details. This book is written for a young reader, so it doesn't have a wealth of depth, but it still does a good job of showing Wallenberg's life and personality, so we understand how he became one of the great heroes of the Second World War. His efforts to save the Jews of Hungary remain a truly heroic humanitarian effort. His mysterious disappearance (and probably death) at the hands of the Soviets must, therefore, be considered as a terrible crime.

For a young reader interested in the holocaust and wants to see that there were heroes during this darkest of periods in history, this book will probably help them see that there were, in fact, people who tried to stop the slaughter and tried to save the Jewish peoples of Europe. ...more
4

Jul 22, 2014

I guess I am one of those Americans who needs to study more history, because I had never heard of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Budhapest during the later part of World War II who spearheaded the Swedish (and other “neutral countries”) efforts to get visas, passports, and other documents to Hungarian Jews to help them avoid mistreatment or deportation by the Hungarian police/military, allied with Hitler and the Nazis. The man put up people in apartment buildings, signed thousands and I guess I am one of those Americans who needs to study more history, because I had never heard of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Budhapest during the later part of World War II who spearheaded the Swedish (and other “neutral countries”) efforts to get visas, passports, and other documents to Hungarian Jews to help them avoid mistreatment or deportation by the Hungarian police/military, allied with Hitler and the Nazis. The man put up people in apartment buildings, signed thousands and thousands of schutzpass for Jews, and gave them food, supplies, and anything he could. He eventually was arrested and probably died in a Russian prison, but history has yet to prove anything. Fascinating and inspiring and sad, this nonfiction book has lovely original pictures/documents interspersed with modern-day photographs and easy-to-follow text arranged like free verse in short clearly labeled chapters. Accessible and interesting. ...more
4

Dec 08, 2013

This was an interestingly presented biography of a man during WWII. Raoul was from Sweden, traveled a lot as he grew up and learned several languages. He used all of his skills to help the Jews in Budapest to lessen their suffering and save their lives.
I really liked this because of the different setting for the book, a perspective I had never read about before. Many other books are set in Germany or England during this time, but I learned a lot about this aspect of the war through this book.
I This was an interestingly presented biography of a man during WWII. Raoul was from Sweden, traveled a lot as he grew up and learned several languages. He used all of his skills to help the Jews in Budapest to lessen their suffering and save their lives.
I really liked this because of the different setting for the book, a perspective I had never read about before. Many other books are set in Germany or England during this time, but I learned a lot about this aspect of the war through this book.
I also really liked the subject. Raoul was so selfless and dedicated to his cause. He sacrificed so much for what he believed in and to help others survive. Great man, and someone often looked over.
I was a little divided on the narration style. It is poetry-like, without rhyme though. Often it flows well, but every now and then it feels choppy instead of smooth.
There is a TON of additional information and pictures in this. Very nice. Even though it is a big book, with the narrative style and all the photos, it reads quickly.
Overall, I really liked it, and enjoyed reading it. Great way to get a different perspective on WWII. Good book and will recommend it for kids. ...more
3

Mar 05, 2014

A fascinating nonfiction mystery about what became of Raoul Wallenberg after years of service in helping Jews escape the war using his Swedish connections, signatures, passports, and "trickery". He worked so hard without much direction but with a lot of passion in convincing people of his legitimacy and authority, with his signature carrying weight, his briefcase with addresses and signatures, to try to stop the atrocities of war.

Ironically, the book does not play as a mystery. It's not until A fascinating nonfiction mystery about what became of Raoul Wallenberg after years of service in helping Jews escape the war using his Swedish connections, signatures, passports, and "trickery". He worked so hard without much direction but with a lot of passion in convincing people of his legitimacy and authority, with his signature carrying weight, his briefcase with addresses and signatures, to try to stop the atrocities of war.

Ironically, the book does not play as a mystery. It's not until the very end as Russia is coming to try to liberate Budapest and help save Jews, that the reader realizes that where Wallenberg went was a mystery. He drove off in a different car with his driver/colleague and with few records of his incarceration by Russia, who thought him a spy, and movements between two prisons, that it is not understood what happened to him. Execution? Disease in a prison? Because at a certain point, records stop and Russia refused to acknowledge they even had him in custody.

His life's work now left with a question mark as to when he died, though there are MANY monuments of this man in the US and abroad for his tireless efforts. An amazing heroic story! ...more
5

Mar 23, 2013

An Excellent Example for Young Readers

Children learn best from example; biographies are an excellent way to provide examples of supremely good deeds. And Raoul Wallenberg's story is certainly one worth knowing about. Ms. Borden tells of the life and deeds of Wallenberg in poetic free verse, with plenty of illustrations to make the book take in by young readers. Most appealing is the portrayal of Wallenberg as a boy, which is how he is presented on the cover. The young reader can readily An Excellent Example for Young Readers

Children learn best from example; biographies are an excellent way to provide examples of supremely good deeds. And Raoul Wallenberg's story is certainly one worth knowing about. Ms. Borden tells of the life and deeds of Wallenberg in poetic free verse, with plenty of illustrations to make the book take in by young readers. Most appealing is the portrayal of Wallenberg as a boy, which is how he is presented on the cover. The young reader can readily appreciate the boy growing up to a young man, cultivating those values of altruism (a more apt word than "heroism"). His life, first traveling the world, followed by his stint as a diplomat in occupied Hungary (an Axis country, taken over by the Nazi regime). Most noteworthy is that he went far beyond the call of duty to provide documents he called Schutz-passen, safe passes with the authority of neutral Sweden to as many Jews as possible, to keep them from being deported to Nazi concentrations. The story is told with sensitivity, but the ugly truths are not hidden. All in all, young readers are presented with an accurate picture of a noble man who gave his life that many others may live. Hard work, altruism, and dedication. These are excellent values to impart to children. ...more
5

Dec 29, 2014

This is the biography of Raoul Wallenberg; a Swedish citizen and hero. It takes the reader on a journey from his birth to his mysterious death. Born in 1912 on the Swedish aisle of Lidingo, Raoul’s family name of Wallenberg was well none in Sweden. Mentored by his grandfather Gustaf, Raoul grew in knowledge and ability; he spoke many languages to include French, German, Russian and Bulgarian. Unknown to Raoul at the time this knowledge of language would come in handy later in his life. When WWII This is the biography of Raoul Wallenberg; a Swedish citizen and hero. It takes the reader on a journey from his birth to his mysterious death. Born in 1912 on the Swedish aisle of Lidingo, Raoul’s family name of Wallenberg was well none in Sweden. Mentored by his grandfather Gustaf, Raoul grew in knowledge and ability; he spoke many languages to include French, German, Russian and Bulgarian. Unknown to Raoul at the time this knowledge of language would come in handy later in his life. When WWII broke out Raoul was working with an importer/exporter in Stockholm. Destiny came knocking on his door in June 1944 when he was approached an American Iver Olsen. Olsen presented an opportunity to Raoul to travel to Budapest on a Humanitarian mission to help save the Hungarian Jewish population there. Raoul agreed and immediately began preparations to go; time was of the essence. Once in Hungary the scope of the mission was overwhelming; but, he set to work creating a process that would shield Jewish people from the Nazi’s. Constantly in danger, Raoul tirelessly worked to save as many people as he can; even when the city was put to siege by the Russian army in 1944. Mystery shrouds what happened once Raoul met with the Russian general, but what is known are the thousands of lives this one man managed to save!! WOW, what a powerful story of a courageous hero during one of histories darkest times.
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3

Jun 28, 2012

Swedish-born Raoul Wallenberg spent his youth traveling the world and learning several languages, both things that made him an ideal candidate to help when Hungarian Jews were about be rounded up by the Nazis and sent to the concentration camps. Wallenberg was sent to Hungary to work at the Swedish legation, where he quickly got to work printing thousands of passes that proclaimed the bearers to be under the protection of the Swedish government, therefore preventing the Nazis from hauling them Swedish-born Raoul Wallenberg spent his youth traveling the world and learning several languages, both things that made him an ideal candidate to help when Hungarian Jews were about be rounded up by the Nazis and sent to the concentration camps. Wallenberg was sent to Hungary to work at the Swedish legation, where he quickly got to work printing thousands of passes that proclaimed the bearers to be under the protection of the Swedish government, therefore preventing the Nazis from hauling them out of the country. He also met with Nazi and Hungarian officials, personally confronting anyone he needed to when the the Jews were being forced out of the country. Through his work, Wallenberg was able to save thousands of lives, but ultimately, when the Russian army came to liberate Hungary, he was accused of being a spy and was never seen again.

Wallenberg's story is so interesting, so I was eager to get my hands on this book. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's told in kind of a loose free verse, which seems unusual for a nonfiction book. I adjusted to the format, but in some cases, I felt like there wasn't quite enough explanation and readers who weren't already familiar with his story might not fully understand what was going on. Also,I think the book would have benefited from a glossary, so that terms, people, and organizations (such as legation and Arrow Cross) could be explained a little bit. Still an interesting read, and includes plenty of photographs, but a few simple things could have made it better. ...more
4

Apr 14, 2012

Before reading this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Swede who risked his life to rescue Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust. In brief text set up to resemble a novel in verse, the author describes the early upbringing of this brave man who was born to privilege. Thanks to his grandfather's influence, he traveled widely and eventually was able to communicate in five languages. Since Sweden remained neutral during WWII, it would have been easy for Raoul Wallenberg to remain detached Before reading this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Swede who risked his life to rescue Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust. In brief text set up to resemble a novel in verse, the author describes the early upbringing of this brave man who was born to privilege. Thanks to his grandfather's influence, he traveled widely and eventually was able to communicate in five languages. Since Sweden remained neutral during WWII, it would have been easy for Raoul Wallenberg to remain detached from the events of the Holocaust, but his sense of justice, honor, and duty compelled him to travel to Budapest at the behest of the Swedish and American government once the Nazis occupied Hungary. He gathered staff members and created documents called schutzpasse protecting the bearer and his/her extended family under the umbrellas of the Swedish government. These passes and temporary documents saved thousands of lives. It would be impossible for readers not to be moved by this man's bravery and his determination to do the right thing even as his actions became riskier and brought him to the attention of the Nazis. Since the story is told in simple fashion, I became even more curious about Wallenberg and saddened to learn that he had been arrested and taken to Moscow in 1945. It's intriguing and disheartening to read that no one knows what happened to him. I really enjoyed learning about this man and examining the many photographs and schutzpasse in the book. I would have enjoyed it even more if the author had used citations and listed references and sources for quotes as well as fleshed out the story. As it is, I feel inspired by Raoul's desire to make a difference in the world, and I intend to read more about him. ...more
3

Nov 30, 2011

The information at the back of the book states that the author spent 10 years researching this book, so I was expecting an extensive treatment in the biography of this amazingly brave and courageous man. What I got was more of an outline than a book.

I was somewhat shocked when I received this rather thin, large-format book (10" x 7.5"). When I opened it up it looked like it was one long poem, but it was just formatted in a very non-traditional way. The text is completely left-justified, and The information at the back of the book states that the author spent 10 years researching this book, so I was expecting an extensive treatment in the biography of this amazingly brave and courageous man. What I got was more of an outline than a book.

I was somewhat shocked when I received this rather thin, large-format book (10" x 7.5"). When I opened it up it looked like it was one long poem, but it was just formatted in a very non-traditional way. The text is completely left-justified, and breaks between paragraphs are indicated by blank lines. There is, as a result, not much text on any given page, and the font is rather large. As a result I finished the whole book in about one hour.

There are many photographs and illustrations, and that is nice, but the only word I can use to describe this work is "lightweight."

I know of Raoul Wallenberg from other books I have read about WWII Europe and the holocaust, but I'd never had a chance to read his biography. I was therefore anxiously looking forward to this book.

I did find the information interesting and readable, but not compelling.

When I went back after the fact and looked at the book description in more detail I noticed that the suggested reading level was ages "12 and up." No wonder it read that way. But, even books for youth can and in this case, IMO, should have a lot more meat in it. For example, the author mentions more or less in passing that "Eichmann" returned to Hungary. Kids reading this book aren't going to know who he was and why his return was significant. There are many instances like that where something is mentioned and then passed by.

I have to say that as a stand-alone book I find this work lacking, even for young teenagers.

I did like the subject, and the information presented was interesting, but it just felt incomplete.

I just can't bring myself to award more than 3 stars to something that though interesting is merely adequate. ...more
5

Aug 28, 2018

I learned so much about Raoul Wallenberg and Budapest during WWII. I can't imagine surviving a war and then being imprisoned by Allied forces. My heart breaks for his family.
5

May 14, 2017

His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg by Louise Borden is a biography about the life and legacy of Raoul Wallenberg. Raoul was a Swedish diplomat who dedicated his life to saving Jews from the dangerous oppression of the Nazis in World War Two.
I really liked this book because of the author's hardcore interest in such an unknown hero of World War Two. I gave this book a high rating because of the interesting information and the high quality images. I personally think I might have enjoyed the pictures His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg by Louise Borden is a biography about the life and legacy of Raoul Wallenberg. Raoul was a Swedish diplomat who dedicated his life to saving Jews from the dangerous oppression of the Nazis in World War Two.
I really liked this book because of the author's hardcore interest in such an unknown hero of World War Two. I gave this book a high rating because of the interesting information and the high quality images. I personally think I might have enjoyed the pictures more than the actual words in the book. I stated that this book was a biography, but this was mostly just about his heroic efforts during World War Two. I got a little sad when I read about how he was arrested. I found this book very interesting because of how courageous and brave he was, even though he wasn't a soldier.
I recommend this book to really any young person old enough who needs inspiration for finding braveness or wants to read about an unsung hero from World War Two. ...more

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