Raoul Wallenberg: The Man Who Stopped Death

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9780827604483: Raoul Wallenberg: The Man Who Stopped Death

Traces the life of the diplomat who saved Hungarian Jews during World War II and then disappeared after the Russian occupation

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From Kirkus Reviews:

In 1944, a charismatic young Swede volunteered for a desperate mission to save Budapest's Jews, the last substantial population threatened by the Nazis. Posted to the Swedish Legation and provided with ample funds and authority to do whatever worked, Wallenberg issued documents verifying trumped-up links to Sweden, set up ``safe houses'' under the Swedish flag, organized support from other neutral legations, threatened Hungarian officials (caught between Eichmann's brutality and the war's imminent end) with records of their acts, and used his commanding presence and sheer willpower to whisk Jews from assembly points and loaded trains. Then, perhaps imagining he was a spy, the Soviets entrapped him; despite numerous alleged sightings, his fate is unknown. Acknowledging extensive use of archival materials and interviews with people who knew Wallenberg, Linn‚a laces the story with dialogue, noting that ``the thrust of each conversation...has been documented.'' Her style's undistinguished, but the events are truly compelling, and she does a good job of sorting out the complex dynamics of those terrible days. The b&w photos, many taken secretly at the time, are also of interest. Milton Meltzer's lucid and powerful 12-page view of these events in Rescue (1988) includes some telling facts omitted here; still, this dramatic longer account is welcome. Index. (Nonfiction. 11+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-12-Beginning with the Jewish "Legend of the Just," this biography eases readers into the life of the man who led efforts to save Hungarian Jews from Nazi extermination. Frequent dialogue and a few scenes (noted by the author) with characters that are composites of people who Wallenberg knew might arouse suspicions of the text's accuracy, especially since no bibliography is included, but comparisons with John Bierman's Righteous Gentile (Viking, 1981) and Frederick Werbell and Thurston Clarke's Lost Hero (McGraw-Hill, 1981; o.p.) reveal consistent depictions of events, although dialogue is mildly different in each version. Linnea's book, much shorter than the aforementioned two, flows with a storyteller's narration and quickly draws readers into the urgent and horrifying state of affairs in Hungary in 1944. The inclusion of photos by Wallenberg's photographer adds authority to the text. Younger readers might have an easier time with Anita Larsen's Raoul Wallenberg (Crestwood, 1992), but Linnea's title is excellent for YAs, who will surely be inspired to find out more.
Linda Tashbook, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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