March 9, 2012

Report of Activities 2011


  • Chapter on Armenia: The IRWF has opened a chapter aimed at unveiling the amazing stories of the brave Armenians. The focus is on honoring Armenians who risked their lives during the Holocaust in their efforts to save the victims of the Nazi persecution, and Turks who rescued Armenians during the 1915 Genocide. We hope that by acknowledging the heroic deeds of rescuers during the Armenian Genocide we can help build a path towards reconciliation between the Turkish and the Armenian people.

  • Publication of Dossier “Roncalli: This dossier, which includes new revelations and evidences, has been recently submitted by the Wallenberg Foundation to Yad Vashem, with the firm recommendation to bestow upon Angelo Roncalli, Pope John XXIII, the title of Righteous Among the Nations.
  • Historical Archive to be Digitalize: Casa Argentina and The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation have spent the last year digitalizing its archives with the aim of making them available to the public. The ultimate goal is to create a virtual museum recording the organizations’ activities and achievements throughout the years.
  • Exhibit Righteous from Croatia opened in Zadar: The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Casa Argentina en Israel Tierra Santa, and the National Museum Zadar organized an exhibit that provides evidence that there were many good and righteous people who sacrificed themselves in efforts to help the Jewish population during WWII.
  • Paul and Helene (Leni) Pissarius recognized as Righteous Among the Nations: The award was presented in their honor to Werner Pissarius. This event is the results of the IRWF’s research conducted in Berlin and New York, which confirmed that Paul and Leni Pissarius sheltered Ernst Joseph and his parents, Leopold and Bertha, in their Berlin home for more than two years.
  • Research on Wallenberg’s Fate: The IRWF continues its constant correspondence with The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation as part of its campaign to clarify Raoul Wallenberg’s fate.


  • “Raoul Wallenberg at School” – 2010/2011 Academic Year: Ever since 2003, the Raoul Wallenberg at School Program is presented in high schools and universities across Buenos Aires with the support of the Secretary of Education of the City of Buenos Aires. This year, the following high schools participated: Escuela de Comercio No. 26 –nocturna, Liceo No. 1 “José Figueroa Alcorta”, Escuela de Comercio Antonio Bermejo, and Escuela Jaim Weitzman.
  • “Raoul Wallenberg at School” at the UADE: The IRWF Buenos Aires organized an encounter with Ms. Hélène Gutkowski, a Holocaust survivor, at the UADE (Argentine University of Business) on June 16th. A hundred students and the chairs of the History of Civilization and Political Science Departments were in attendance.
  • Holocaust Survivor Shares her Experience with College Students at Maimonides University and Austral University: The IRWF organized an encounter with Myriam Kesler at The Maimonides University and at Austral University in Buenos Aires. Ms. Kesler gave her testimony to students and faculty at both universities.
  • Learning Initiatives at the UCES: The IRWF presented its educational program on Raoul Wallenberg at the UCES (University of Business and Social Sciences) in Buenos Aires. The lecture was presented by Architect Tomás Kertesz, a Holocaust survivor rescued by Raoul Wallenberg, with the journalist Nicholas Tozer. A second encounter was organized and it included the testimony of a Holocaust survivor, Mr. Jorge Klainman.
  • Holocaust Survivors share testimonies at Belgrano University: Ms. Irene Dab and Ms. Hélène Gutkowski talked about their experiences in front of eighty people at the prestigious Belgrano University (Universidad de Belgrano) in Buenos Aires.
  • David Galante and The IRWF at Salvador University: Holocaust survivor David Galante told his story in front of a large audience at Salvador University (Universidad Del Salvador), a prominent Catholic University in Argentina. Bishop Monsignor Oscar Sarlinga, an IRWF Honorary Member who was especially invited for this occasion, gave a moving speech.
  • David Galante at Universidad Austral: The IRWF organized an encounter with Holocaust survivor David Galante at Austral University (Universidad Austral) in Buenos Aires. Mr. Galante gave his testimony and answered the questions of over fifty students at the university.
  • “Raoul Wallenberg at School” in Israel: Casa Argentina in Israel and the IRWF continued its ambitious program of interactive lectures about Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy. Aimed at Israeli high-school students, the sessions expose them to the awe-inspiring feats of the Swedish savior. Over 20 lectures were given by the prominent local educator and playwright, Mr. Eli Yossef, in 2011. Participating schools include: Boyer School, Shir Bamidbar Seminary, Neshamat – Yad Malja Seminary, and the Institute for Foreign Educators.
  • Book on Genocide is released: The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation released a book by psychology professor Ervin Staub at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, featuring a comparative analysis of Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and Genocide in Cambodia.


  • Raoul Wallenberg was remembered in Budapest: On the occasion of commemorating the 66th anniversary of his disappearance, Raoul Wallenberg was remembered at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest. This event that took place on January 17th and was opened by Dr. Josef Sebes, Chairman of the Hungarian Raoul Wallenberg Association. Greeting letters written by Larry Pfeffer, Chief Organizer of International Rescuer Day, and Baruch Tenembaum, Founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, were read. The Ambassador of Sweden, Her Excellency Cecilia Bjorner, and the President of the Antall Jozsef Society Dr. Endre Marinovich were the speakers of the event.
  • Tribute to Rescuers: On May 6 at the Tel Aviv University, The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation organized together with Casa Argentina en Israel-Tierra Santa and The Spanish-Speaking Friends of the Tel Aviv University, a ceremony paying tribute to three rescuers: Sandra Samuel, a Catholic contemporary heroine, and to Louise and Joseph Materne, a Belgian couple that saved the life of a Jewish child in the Shoah.
  • Catholic Indian rescuer receives accolade: As part of the IRWF’s mission to pay tribute to contemporary heroes, Sandra Samuel was honored. He saved the life of a child, Moshe Holtzberg, in the terrorist attack perpetrated against Chabad House in Mumbai in 2008. Moshe’s parents, Rivka and Gavriel Z’l, were murdered in the attack.
  • Commemoration of Raoul Wallenberg’s Disappearance: The IRWF commemorated the day of Wallenberg’s disappearance at the Wallenberg Award Ceremony organized on January 16, at the Shoah Museum in Paris, France. During the event, the 2010 Raoul Wallenberg Award was bestowed upon Beate and Serge Klarsfeld in recognition of their devotion to document the Holocaust and their commitment to educate the younger generations.
  • Honoring Holocaust Rescuers in Mineola and Newark: The IRWF, together with the Sousa Mendes Foundation, presented a series of events on April 2-3, 2011, in honor of Aristides de Sousa Mendes and Luis Martins de Souza Dantas.
  • Raoul Wallenberg ‘s Ninety-Ninth Birthday Celebration: The IRWF in Buenos Aires and the Mariano Moreno High School celebrated  Raoul Wallenberg’s ninety-ninth  birthday with a special presentation by Rabbi Sergio Bergman,  who spoke in front of hundreds of fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students.
  • Wallenberg was remembered in Moisesville: Leaders of the Jewish community of Moisesville gathered at the local “Raoul Wallenberg Park” to commemorate the hero’s ninety-ninth birthday.


  • Open call to writers: The IRWF in Buenos Aires issued an open call to non-fiction writers in Spanish to submit work related to The Holocaust or Rescuers of Holocaust victims.
  • Saviors on the Screen: In May 2011, the IRWF and the JCC Manhattan presented Saviors on the Screen, a special Film Series dedicated to the rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust.
  • Kinderblock 66: The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has made Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald one of its key projects. This is a documentary film that narrates the story of several of the surviving boys from Block 66 (Buchenwald).
  • The Consul of Bordeaux: This feature film tells the story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who saved 30,000 lives during WWII, in June 1940. Among them were 10,000 Jews. As the Portuguese General Consul stationed in Bordeaux, France, Sousa Mendes issued 30,000 visas for safe passage to Portugal. He defied the direct orders of his government and exhibited courage, moral rectitude, unselfishness, and self-sacrifice by issuing visas to all refugees regardless of nationality, race, religion or political opinions. The IRWF, together with the Sousa Mendes Foundation, proudly featured the screening of the first feature film on Aristides Sousa Mendes – “The Consul of Bordeaux”. This event took place as the Sport Club Portugues (SCP), in the city of Newark.
  • Wallenberg, the musical: The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is proud to be one of the associate producers of Wallenberg, the Musical. This play was written by the Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman, with music composed by Benjamin Rosenbluth. Under the direction of Emmy Award winner Annette Jolles, Wallenberg had its premiere public presentation in March 2004 in a staged reading at Symphony Space in Manhattan and has been playing on stage since then.
  • Legacy: The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, Illinois, screened Legado (Legacy). The award-winning film, produced by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, tells the story of the Jewish colonization in Argentina. Toward the end of the 19th century, approximately 800 Jews arrived in Buenos Aires, fleeing the persecution from Czrarist Russian pogroms.
  • Heart of Stone, Heart of Flesh: Casa Argentina in Israel and the IRWF are working on the production of Eli Yossef’s play Heart of Stone, Heart of Flesh. Conceived as an educational tool, the play recreates Wallenberg’s impactful story. Heart is set to open on March 22, 2012 at Kiriat Gat Municipal Theater with a stellar cast of high school students from different Israeli institutions.


  • Raoul Wallenberg Day in the US: Thanks to an initiative by the IRWF, the States of Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah, and West Virginia joined the State of New York in proclaiming October 5th Raoul Wallenberg Day.
  • Raoul Wallenberg Day in Canada: The Honorable Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism issued a statement commemorating January 17, which is celebrated annually as The Raoul Wallenberg Day in Canada.
  • Raoul Wallenberg Day in Argentina: The province of Corrientes declared October 5 Raoul Wallenberg Day. In addition, the province of Cordoba and Buenos Aires City proclaimed August 4 as The Raoul Wallenberg Day.
  • Baruch Tenembaum Recognized by the Austrian Government: Closing the project “Lost Neighbors” in commemoration of Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass), the event awarded Baruch Tenenbaum and other distinguished personalities in Argentina for their “commitment and dedication to human rights and non-discrimination.”


E-Books: The IRWF published a collection of e-books available on the IRWF website.

  • The Turkish Genocide Against the Armenians. By Ervin Staub
  • The Holocaust of Memories. By Csaba-István Székely
  • Roncalli Dossier. A documented research and petition officially submitted to Yad Vashem with a request to bestow upon Angelo Roncalli the title of “Righteous among the Nations”.
  • In the Face of Evil. Based on the life of Dina Frydman Balbien. By Tema N. Merback.
  • Documenting Wallenberg. A compilation of interviews with survivors rescued by Raoul Wallenberg.
  • Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. Myth, History and Holocaust. By Paul A. Levine.
  • Speaking to One Another: Personal Memories of the Past in Armenia and Turkey.
  • Brothers for Resistance and Rescue. By David Gur.
  • Borges and the Jew. By Ilan Stavans.

E-Books in Spanish:

  • En el nombre del Nombre. Por Elena Cohen Imach.
  • Freud: el judío. Por Moisés Kijak.
  • La comunidad judía de Coro 1824-1900. Por Isidoro Aizenberg.
  • La identidad judía en la literatura argentina. Por Leonardo Senkman.
  • Soliloquios de un judío. Por Máximo G. Yagupsky.
  • El judaísmo como cultura. Por León Dujovne.
  • León Dujovne y el Judaísmo como Cultura. Por Natan Lerner.
  • La Yihad Global: El terrorismo del Siglo XXI. Por George Karim Chaya.
  • Adolf Eichmann: Él vivió entre nosotros. Por Prof. Abraham Zylberman.
  • Cuentos y relatos. Traducidos del idish por Salomón Resnik y seleccionados por Eliahu Toker.
  • Violencia de estado, memoria y educación. Por Federico Gaitan Hairabedian.
  • La filosofía de la historia en Sarmiento. Por León Dujovne.
  • La Semana Trágica de Enero 1919 y los judíos: Mitos y realidades. Por Mara List Avner.
  • Jacob Glatshtein: El poeta judío de la revolución interior. Por Eliahu Toker.
  • Canciones de hoy día. E. Gros (texto en idish)
  • …Y le contarás a tu hijo. Por Abraham Jaime Plaksin
  • Saga judía. Por Eliahu Toker


  • The IRWF welcomes Eduardo Eurnekian, a notable entrepreneur and philanthropist of Argentine-Armenian descent, as the new Chairman of the Foundation.
  • In 2011, the IRWF also welcomed these new Honorary Members:

  • Brian Schmidt, Nobel Prize in Physics 2011
  • Jules Hoffman, Nobel Prize in Medicine 2011
  • Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia
  • Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia
  • Petr Necas, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
  • H.E. Mari Johanna Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland
  • H.E. Valdis Zatlers, President of the Republic of Latvia
  • H.E. Vladimir Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova
  • H.E. Ms. Iveta Radi?ová, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic
  • Hon. Jens Beutel, Lord Mayor of Mainz, Germany
  • Hon. Lutz Trümper, Lord Mayor of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Hon. Torsten Albig, Lord Mayor of Kiel, Germany
  • Doctor Luis R. Picón Quedo, Governor of Huánuco, Peru
  • Dr. Juan Manuel Guillen Benavides,  Governor of Arequipa, Peru
  • Hon. Francisco Moita Flores, Mayor of Santarem, Portugal
  • Hon. Fernando Ruas, Mayor of Viseu, Portugal
  • Keun-min Woo, Governor of Jeju province, South Korea
  • Don Iñaki Azkuna, Mayor of Bilbao, Spain
  • Doña Yolanda Barcina, Mayor of Pamplona, Spain
  • Don Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín, Mayor of Sevilla, Spain
  • Don Patxi Lazcoz, Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
  • Hon. Bo Frank, Mayor of Växjö, Sweden
  • Hon. Jörgen Linder, Mayor and Chairman of the City Council of Stadskansliet, Sweden
  • Konrad Graber, Senator for the Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Martin Pierre Maudet, Mayor of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, President of Switzerland
  • Doris Leuthard , Former President of Switzerland
  • Daniel Brelaz, Mayor of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Ms. Corine Mauch, Mayor of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Alexander Tschappat, Mayor of Bern, Switzerland
  • Hon. Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of the State of Connecticut, USA
  • Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland, USA