New monument in Churchill Park honours Raoul Wallenberg

By Samantha Lawson (CHCH News)

First Published: June 23, 2023, 2:11 pm
Modified date: June 28, 2023, 6:16 am

A newly installed public artwork in Churchill Park marks the significant efforts of a Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

The Hamilton Jewish Federation and Margaret’s Legacy present the new artwork called “Be:longings” in memoriam of Raoul Wallenberg.

Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who rescued tens of thousands of Jews from Nazi persecution during World War II.

As first secretary at the Swedish Legation in Budapest in the summer of 1944, Wallenberg acted without concern for his own safety and worked tirelessly to save lives.

The Hamilton Jewish Federation says his dedication to humanity is an inspiration to everyone.

The public artwork was commissioned through the City of Hamilton’s Public Art process.

“Be:longings” consists of several metal suitcases placed along the path in the park in the Westdale neighbourhood.

The artwork is a visual metaphor for the emotional weight an immigrant carries when forced to settle down in a new country.

A ceremony to recognize the newly installed piece was hosted by the Hamilton Jewish Federation Friday morning.

Hamilton resident Ernest Mason, who was rescued by Wallenberg, spoke at the event alongside two of the three artists behind the artwork, Gary Barwin and Tor Lukasik-Foss. The third artist to collaborate on this project is Simon Frank.

Lukasik-Fos said the monument brings up the conversation of immigration and how difficult it can be.

“It’s loaded, the process of moving from one place, and being displaced, is loaded, and it’s emotionally heavy, but it’s also hopeful because you’ve been able to get away from the danger you were living in,” Lukasik-Foss said.


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