Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker,
I am delighted to pay tribute to Baruch Tenenbaum, a truly remarkable
person. He has, in an extraordinary way, made enormous efforts
to promote the life and mission of World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg.
As a young Swedish diplomat, Wallenberg was responsible for saving
nearly 100,000 Jews in Budapest from the horror of the Holocaust.
This brave man disappeared in 1945, last seen going to meet with
members of the Soviet army. Though many theories regarding his
disappearance abound, the world continues to wait for answers
regarding Wallenberg's fate. Mr. Tenenbaum is one of the most
visible leaders in carrying on Raoul Wallenberg's name. Mr. Speaker,
even before Mr. Tenenbaum started to work for Raoul Wallenberg's
cause he had lived an extraordinary life. He was devoted to supporting
the Jewish community in Argentina and to creating a deeper understanding
between Jews and Catholics worldwide. He was the First General
Director of the Argentine-Israeli Cultural Institute and focused
the majority of his efforts on educational endeavors. Some of
his undertakings included founding the Tarbut School and organizing
the first Latin American Bible contest. In addition, he translated
Spanish classics and Haskala literature into Hebrew and Yiddish.
In 1966, together with writer Jorge Lues Borges, Tenenbaum founded
the first interconfessional organization, Casa Argentina en Jerusalem
(Argentine House in Jerusalem). This organization has received
many distinctions on behalf of the Vatican for its work in promoting
ecumenism. Tenenbaum's outstanding commitment to the Jewish and
Catholic communities has earned him accolades and honors from
Pope Paul VI and from Monsignor Antonio Caggiano, Cardinal Primate
of Argentina. Mr. Tenenbaum and I co-founded the International
Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) in 1997. Since then, we have
worked tirelessly to make Raoul Wallenberg's story known around
the world. Mr. Tenenbaum has personally convinced over 60 heads
of states to become members of IRWF. Some members include German
Chancellor Gerhard Schro¨ der, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, former U.S. President Gerald Ford, and Nobel Peace Prize
Laureates Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel. Mr. Speaker, I know you
will agree that preserving the memory of Raoul Wallenberg is very
important. Wallenberg is a truly timeless role model for all generations,
representing an ideal sense of selflessness and caring of all
people. He taught us about the importance of standing up for the
immutable rights of all people and the need to combat evil when
it confronts us. Wallenberg will always serve as a reminder of
the tremendous difference just one man can make, and keeping his
spirit alive means ensuring and preserving the spirit of humanity.
In carrying on Raoul Wallenberg's name, Mr. Tenenbaum has made
a tremendous effort in keeping his spirit alive and carrying his
message on to future generations. Under the direction of Mr. Tenenbaum,
the IRWF has undertaken a number of various endeavors to further
the memories of Holocaust heroes, including Raoul Wallenberg.
There have been a number of statues raised and countless exhibits
displayed around the world as a result of IRWF's efforts, honoring
keepers of humanity during the Holocaust. In addition, Wallenberg
has been honored throughout the world with commemorative postage
stamps, and a number of streets and schools named in his honor.
The IRWF's goals for these initiatives in honor of Wallenberg
and other Holocaust heroes is to stimulate the educational authorities
in dozens of countries to teach not only the stories of the Holocaust,
but also the stories of the heroes that emerged from the horrors.
By educating future generations about the plight of Holocaust
heroes like Wallenberg, perhaps they will adopt just a fraction
of the humanitarian values these brave men and women held. Mr.
Speaker, at the age of 67, Mr. Tenenbaum has never received a
salary nor any other financial compensation for his work. He covers
nearly all IRWF expenses himself and he devotes all his time to
the Raoul Wallenberg cause. I am honored to pay tribute to this
extraordinary man and I urge all of my colleagues to join me in
congratulating Baruch Tenenbaum for his outstanding achievements.
This exceptional person is truly an inspiration to us all. Like
the man whose legacy he works tirelessly to preserve, Mr. Tenenbaum
is living proof that one man can make a difference.
Hon. Tom Lantos of California
in the House of Representatives.