Download A Hero’s Many Faces: Raoul Wallenberg in Contemporary by Tanja Schult (auth.) PDF

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By Tanja Schult (auth.)

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The merit of Lajos’s thesis is that he located relevant files in Hungarian archives, thereby making these sources accessible for further research. 4 He does not satisfactorily expound on the problem of the hero-term he uses in his dissertation and seems to be unaware that his own perception of Wallenberg is based on a Christian martyr-hero image. Lajos’s anger about mistakes in popular scientific literature leads to a rather hastily and unfair devaluation of Wallenberg’s mission, which stands in contrast to the facts he himself presents.

Monuments respond to the existing narrative that surrounds a historical figure, but at the same time their creators relate the historical figure’s narrative from a subjective viewpoint. Hence, they can support the existing story or contribute to the existing myth with a new facet. Surprisingly, considering Wallenberg’s popularity and the many books published about him, there does not exist an adequate academic study about this historical figure. Nor does there exist an academic study that addresses the popular images of Wallenberg literature and other forms of commemoration established over the last 25 years.

In many cases, it is a real challenge to identify the key persons responsible for a monument’s coming to existence and establish the true motives for the person’s engagement. Much further research would be necessary to draw wider conclusions about such socio-political aspects and set the monuments in a broader context. So although the field of cultural memory leads to interesting outcomes, and though my study benefited from the theoretical and empirical undertakings in this field, it is not the primary aim of this interdisciplinary cultural study with its focus on art-historical aspects to contribute to the field of cultural memory.

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