Diplomat who saved Jews topic of talk
Performer to give presentation at Cal Lutheran
Raoul Wallenberg
Raoul Wallenberg

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A Swedish diplomat who saved about 100,000 Jews during the Holocaust will be the subject of a Scandinavian Lecture Series presentation at California Lutheran University on Sunday, March 22.

Writer and performer Corinne Copnick of Los Angeles will present “Forever Remembering Raoul Wallenberg: Moral Courage in a Time of Darkness” at 2 p.m. in Lundring Events Center.

Wallenberg has been honored all over the world but remains a mystery. Memorials, including a Los Angeles statue rededicated in 2013, testify to his heroism. Public spaces and societies have been named in his honor. Countries that have made him an honorary citizen include the United States, where he was posthumously awarded a Congressional Medal in 2012. In Israel, he is numbered as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Still, the motivation for his heroic actions and the details of his demise are not fully known. He disappeared in 1945 after being arrested by Soviet authorities and was reported to have died two years later in prison at the age of 34. Copnick will tell Wallenberg’s story and delve into such mysteries as whether he was a CIA agent.

Copnick, the presenter, has had a career in the arts that has spanned radio, television, film and stage. She plans to adapt these talents to her new role as a rabbi after she is ordained in May.

She received the Canadian Commemorative Medal in 1992 in recognition of her substantial contribution to Canada, and the Montreal Section of the National Council of Jewish Women honored her in 1998 as a woman of distinction. Her most recent book, ”Cryo Kid: Drawing a New Map,” was a finalist in the 2009 national Indie Awards of Excellence. Her play “In the Quiet of a Saturday Night” was presented for national Canada Book Week in Toronto.

Copnick earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and specialized in developmental drama during her graduate studies. A recipient of various grants and awards, the Montreal native served as resident writer at the Leighton Artists’ Colony at the Banff Centre. She coordinated a Toronto exhibition of Jewish art treasures from Yugoslavia in collaboration with the Central Museum of Zagreb and the Jewish Museum of Belgrade.

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation and the Cal Lutheran History Department are sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact Howard Rockstad at 805-497-3717.