Clark University Professor Taner Akçam, Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, recently was lauded at a Congressional reception organized by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF), where President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan presented the Wallenberg Medal to Robert Morgenthau, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia.
During the Sept. 30 reception in Washington, Akçam received recognition for a project he completed on behalf of the IRWF that involved leading research identifying 180 “unsung heroes”—Turkish and Kurdish rescuers of Armenians during the Genocide of 1915. The report, which has been conducted by Burçin Gerçek under Akçam’s supervision, published as an E-Book, is a free resource for Foundation members. It is available in Turkish, English and Armenian, and soon in Spanish.
The event moderator explained the research project, then urged Akçam to stand and be recognized as she led applause.
“This was a great honor for me,” said Akçam, “and I’m humbled by the recognition they showed toward me and to Clark University.”
The event was attended by leaders of the Armenian community and two dozen congressmen including U.S. Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Congressmen Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Jacqueline “Jackie” Speier, Robert Dold, Jim Costain, Dave Trott, David Valadao and Judy Chu.
The IRWF is a global-reach NGO based in New York, with representative offices in Berlin, Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv. Foundation members include more than 300 heads of state (former and incumbent), Nobel Prize Laureates and distinguished personalities from all walks of life, including Pope Francis.
The mission of the IRWF is to preserve and proliferate the legacy of Raoul Wallenberg and all the rescuers, without any distinctions. The Foundation uses positive pedagogy to highlight the feats of the heroes who reached-out to the victims of the Holocaust, the Armenian tragedy and other bloody conflicts.