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

By Tanja Schult (auth.)

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3 The most recent dissertation on Wallenberg dates from 2004, Hjälten och Offren: Raoul Wallenberg och judarna i Budapest (“The Hero and the victims: Raoul Wallenberg and the Jews in Budapest”) by historian Attila Lajos. Lajos places Wallenberg’s rescue mission in a wider historical context. 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.

The key point is that the monument is something that exists as a testimonial to a notable person or event and that it has commemorative and celebrative power. In terms of the outer appearance of public monuments, the only explicit distinguishing characteristics are that they be made of materials, such as stone or metal, that would infer the intended lasting character of the genre, and that an inscription or a notice nearby is usually added to elucidate the work’s purpose and function. indd 23 12/13/2011 1:58:23 PM 24 A Hero’s Many Faces parts of the neck, the shoulders, the breast and even the arms can be visible.

Every investigation of art can only be an attempt to find the right words. indd 22 12/13/2011 1:58:23 PM Introduction 23 However, by unfolding the layers of meaning the artwork provides, by describing them, and investigating the formal strategies and signs used, the art historian strives to make a better understanding of the work possible. 76 The use of the terms monument and portrait Having used the term “monument” within the title and using the term “portrait” frequently within this study, I better explain briefly how I understand these terms.

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