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Six degrees of separation (Part 2)


Technically this is just a footnote to the previous entry concerning degrees of separation and my suspicion that six is way too big a number.

The Beaux Arts rendering I had purchased on eBay was more than a serendipitous acquisition:

  • It had been listed on eBay roughly twenty minutes before I encountered it in my daily search pattern.
  • There was a “Buy It Now” option that was only $6 different than the opening bid amount.
  • Though I didn’t know it at the time, the artist had been a student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, premier European architectural program at the time.
  • The student-architect Jean Hebrard was connected through his older architect-brother to an urban rebuilding scheme for Thessaloniki, Greece, a city I had seen in the summer of 2006 and had wondered about its “Frenchness.”
  • Hebrard had emigrated to the U.S. and taught at several prominent architectural schools–none of which I can claim as an alma mater. At one of those schools he taught a young Swedish student named Raoul Wallenberg.
  • Wallenberg was called back to Sweden during the years leading up to World War II and pressed into diplomatic service, rather than his chosen architectural career.
  • Stationed in Budapest, Wallenberg was instrumental in the salvation of 1800 Jews who travelled to neutral Sweden with forged transport papers he provided.
  • When the Russians took Hungary, Wallenberg was arrested and disappeared from the sight of mankind. He was never seen again and is presumed to have died in a Russian gulag.
  • The last day that Wallenberg was seen publicly was 17 January 1945.
  • I was born on 17 January 1945.

I rest my case.

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