• Sweden edition
 
RAOUL WALLENBERG CENTENNIAL
The Raoul Wallenberg Calendar: Q&A with Brian Palmer

The Raoul Wallenberg Calendar: Q&A with Brian Palmer

Published: 04 Aug 2012 09:52 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Aug 2012 09:52 GMT+02:00

The birthday of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, missing since 1945, is celebrated worldwide and for a whole year his courage and deeds during WWII, rescuing tens of thousands of Jews from the holocaust, will be remembered.

Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist and a lecturer on civic courage at Uppsala University is one of many people finding a unique way of honouring Wallenberg's legacy.

Together with author Ola Larsmo and Marie Grefberg, of the Forum for Living History (Forum för levande historia) in Sweden, Palmer has produced a calendar commemorating 365 people who've shown exceptional civic courage.

“We hope that the calendar will make people think about the meaning of civic courage and inspire people to ponder what’s worth doing and how we use our lives,” Palmer told The Local.

The calendar, which is for 2013, will be translated to English and South Korean, and about 130,000 copies will be given to Swedish high-school students, to be used as inspiration for their course-work.

Three publishing houses will print and sell a Swedish edition, an English-language edition, a South Korean edition, and an illustrated global edition in five languages, with profits going to human-rights endeavors.

On January 1st, national broadcaster Sveriges Radio/Radioteatern will start airing a five-minute piece about each day’s individual during every day of 2013. The Swedish film institute (Svenska Filminstitutet) will arrange film showings based on the calendar.

RELATED GALLERY: WHAT DO SWEDES KNOW OF RAOUL WALLENBERG?

The Local: What is the Raoul Wallenberg calendar?

Brian Palmer: We decided to make a calendar to honour Wallenberg but also other exceptionally courageous and self-sacrificing people who’ve shown themselves in moments of grace and goodness.

TL: Who is Raoul Wallenberg to you?

BP: He’s someone who found his calling in life and someone who used what was inside him, his bravery, his generosity and his cleverness. Wallenberg is also a reminder that what we do in a short period - only a few months in his case- can define our whole life.

TL: What is civic courage in one sentence?

BP: One can define civic courage as altruistic courage; a readiness to take risks to protect and help people outside of one’s own family and friends, or to protect a common ideal such as democracy.

TL: Do we have people like Wallenberg today?

BP: We do. There’s a tradition in Sweden of bravery and engagement in the international community with many courageous individuals trying to do something about the injustice in the world. For example, in the occupied territories of Palestine the largest number of international solidarity volunteers are often Swedish.

TL: What about the other 364 people in the calendar? Why are they important?

BP: We can take the example of Anastasia Baburova, a young Ukrainian journalist who wrote about right-wing extremist groups for Novaya Gazeta in Moscow.

She continued her work despite threats. Three years ago, after protesting against a Russian military man who had raped and killed a Chechen woman, Anastasia was shot dead, 25 years old. She seemed to believe that some things in life were even more important than her own safety and security.

The psychologist William James wrote a century ago that when we meet people who express altruistic courage we touch life’s ultimate mystery, why we exist and what it means to love other people. Anastasia raised these kinds of questions.

TL: This year is officially the "Wallenberg year" - why is this important?

BP: It’s about being reminded about the beauty of a human being who was ready to give so much to others. Reading accounts of Wallenberg; facing Nazis and taking gigantic risks to protect people - his life is a reminder that amidst our cruel world it's possible for our species to shine this magnificently.

TL: Do you believe that Sweden has properly honoured the legacy of Raoul Wallenberg?

BP: Wallenberg remains a part of our tradition, and for me it would be appropriate if on airplanes landing in Stockholm one would hear the pilot say. “We’ll shortly be landing at the Raoul Wallenberg International Airport”. It would be a very clear marking to the international community that we honour one of our bravest countrymen.

The calendar will be sold in bookshops and supermarkets across Sweden as well as being available for purchase on the web.

To buy the English and South Korean pocket calendar, as well as the international wall calendar, links will be published here.

Salomon Rogberg

Related links:

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/TT

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth

A 30-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest while giving birth at a Stockholm clinic - without hospital staff noticing that anything was wrong. She remains in a critical condition on Friday. READ  

Champions League
History repeats for Malmö fifty years later
Striker Magnus Eriksson during Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

History repeats for Malmö fifty years later

Malmö's entry into the Champions League serves as a reminder of times gone by in European football. With Spain's champions bound for Sweden things just couldn't be better, writes contributor Lee Roden. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes

Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven announced on Friday his "most important election promise", a 90-day job guarantee programme for young Swedes. READ  

 Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout
The Jas Gripen fighter aircraft. File photo: Wikimedia

Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout

Sweden said Friday it would go ahead with the purchase of a new generation of Saab Gripen fighter jets, despite Switzerland pulling out of a major co-financing deal. READ  

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

Elections 2014
Liberals hint at bringing back conscription
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Liberals hint at bringing back conscription

With Russia becoming "all the more aggressive", the Liberal Party leader and education minister, Jan Björklund, has suggested that Sweden may have to reintroduce conscription. READ  

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Roles were reversed in a bear hunt on Thursday night, when a Swedish hunter was attacked by his prey, leaving the man in hospital in a serious condition. READ  

How immigration became a key election issue
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

How immigration became a key election issue

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt sparked a furore with recent comments that put rising refugee costs in focus before the elections. But why did he bring it up, and will it affect the outcome? READ  

 Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership

A Swedish court has rejected a request from the Chinese-owned automaker NEVS, which owns the financially-troubled Swedish brand Saab, to be placed in receivership until it could attract new financing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

753
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se