Mr. Baruch Tenembaum
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
Dear Mr. Tenembaum
I thank you for your letter inviting me to be part of the Honorary Board of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation over which you preside. I am well aware of the activities of the Foundation and the endeavor that is made towards peace, solidarity and dialogue as well as the understanding between cultures and religions.
It will be a pleasure for me to be part of the Honorary Committee of the IRWF, thus becoming the first President of a Spanish government to be incorporated in this organization.
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
President of the Government of Spain
John F. Nash has been included in the Honorary Membership of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, a non-governmental organization (ONG) that develops educational programs based on the examples of solidarity and courage of the saviors of the Holocaust.
In a letter addressed to the founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, the Argentine Baruch Tenembaum, Nash indicated:
”I have always been an admirer of Raoul Wallenberg because he was such a notable (and unfortunately also tragic) example or model of the sort of human who has compassion for other persons independently of their specific ethnicity or cultural history”.
Nash received the Nobel Prize for Economics in l994 for his pioneering analysis of the theory of equilibrium between non-cooperative work, a thesis about the mathematics of competition that contradicts the doctrines of Adam Smith, the father of modern economics.
Nash’s life was brought to the screen in a Ron Howard film ”A Beautifull Mind”, winner of four Academy Awards from Hollywood. The movie narrates the life of the mathematical genius, played by the actor Russell Crowe.
Nash is the eighth Nobel Prize Laureate who has joined the Wallenberg Foundation, together with the Dalai Lama, John Hume, Shimon Peres, Jose Ramos Horta, Oscar Arias, David Trimble, and Elie Wiesel.
Autobiography of John F. Nash, Jr. http://www.nobel.se/economics/laureates/l994/nash-autobio.html]]>
”I fully support the efforts of the [Foundation] to preserve the memory of Raoul Wallenberg. He was one of the true heroes of this century and continues to serve as an example to all of us. I appreciate the fine work of the Foundation and wish every success in its important endeavours”.]]>
”The occurrences that describe the tragic story of Raoul Wallenberg are very painful and will always represent the memory of the victims of the Holocaust preserved in a mute, inerasable way yet remaining an eloquent testimony to a moment of sheer barbarism in the history of humanity.”]]>
”I am pleased and honored to accept your kind invitation to become a member of the Foundation. I am proud to lend my name to this shining example of courage and brotherhood.”]]>
”Raoul Wallenberg was an extraordinary person whose contribution during WWII ensured that thousands of Jews escaped certain death. His courage and endeavour make him one of the heroes- as you rightly point out in your brochure- of the twentieth century. The promotion of dialogue and understanding among peoples from different backgrounds is a most laudable initiative. For this reason, H.E. the President holds your Foundation in very high esteem.”]]>
”This [foundation] is a fitting tribute to the memory of Raoul Wallenberg whose noble actions saved thousands of Jews during the horrors of World War II. The international community benefits tremendously as Casa Argentina in Jerusalem spreads the message of tolerance and peace. We must never forget this time in history, and the work and dedication of organizations such as yours are committed to that goal.”]]>
In your letter answering our invitation on naming you an Honorary Member, you explained to us that by constitutional reasons you are not allowed to be a member of a private foundation, and that you honor us with your praise to the action developed by our institution. I am here to thank you for offering to help us with everything within your means and to tell you the following:
I am aware that it is a very special moment for our organization, and for me to find myself before the president, but especially the personality whose trajectory is well known.
There are things in life that are more important than life itself. In accordance to what the voice of our forefathers tells us to do, we must look for TRUTH and JUSTICE.
Your historic declaration before the Israeli Parliament in which you had the strength and courage to plead for forgiveness, is an example for all humankind. It is obvious that nobody can grant forgiveness, but the action, the intention, and the dynamic manifested are examples for our children; and it is the search of TRUTH. Our foundation follows the same track. We are looking forward to know the TRUTH- the truth of the hero Raoul Wallenberg.
Ours is an interfaith institution, and it has a different perspective to offer our children- a model of what man has to be and has to do. Thirty Heads of State already accompany us in the Wallenberg Foundation. Where there are shadows there are lights, and even though it is important not to forget the shadows, we have decided to dedicate to the exceptions that constitute the lights. We are dedicated to the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, a protestant who saved thousands of Jews assuring that there are more important things in life than life itself: the Truth.
You know what we have done and what we are doing. Following the same path, we are in the process of preparing an international campaign for the world to know what another person did, this time a catholic, also a diplomat, Nuncio Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who later became Pope John XXIII. Today we present you the first two reports prepared by a special commission of historians and scholars. Allow me to tell you, Mister President, that the Vatican’s State Secretary, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, has publicly expressed in New York his surprise and admiration by this initiative of the spirit commenced by us, always in the search of Truth. Wallenberg and Roncalli are exceptions; they are lights illuminating the long nights in which the martyrs of humankind go on forever. Roncalli issued baptismal certificates to save Jewish children.
This and other remarkable facts will be part of the final report to be presented soon. I have the honor to tell you, Mister President, that following the path of Wallenberg and Roncalli, a few moths ago we initiated a search for German Angels, people who risked their lives to save those of others during the World War II. What a surprise it was when it was revealed that hundreds enlarge the list of what the world does not know: German-Catholics, protestants, believers, agnostics- that saved their Jewish brothers and sisters, many paying with their own lives for their acts of heroism.
We must follow that track of TRUTH that the world knows and will leave their children this example: German angels (´Germangels´). In the near future, when this job of producing and registering the list of Germans who saved human beings during the Shoa is over, we wish to launch an international campaign that will include, as in the Wallenberg’s case, worthy coverage useful to new generations as a legacy through exhibitions, educational programs, films, seminars, and courses, all in different languages.
Mister President: in the Old Testament, there is a dialogue in the Book of Genesis, in which the patriarch Abraham talks to the Creator trying to persuade him not to destroy the city of Sodom. The Creator then said that if there were only fifty upright people, the destruction of all the inhabitants would be avoided. Then, this number was becoming smaller and smaller because Abraham was looking for any light in the depth of shadows but he could not find it. He was looking for the exception and he did not find it. We all know the way in which this episode ended. With all modesty and humility we have looked for such a dramatic chapter of history and luckily we have found human beings that are good as an example and as a model for our children. This is the TRUTH.
And today we are here to tell you, Mister President Johannes Rau, that we all wish to collaborate in this sense and we want you to stay with us in everything that the Constitution of your country allows you to. Wouldn’t it allow you to be the Honorary President of this movement that we are initiating dedicated to exalt the German angels, those lights that illuminated our lives? We have decided to renew an old tradition about which we have talked to the Vatican authorities and we want to share it with you. Not only in Wallenberg’s case as well as Roncalli’s and the hundreds of German angels, we will address to all the communities and religions of the world without exception to ask them to consider the possibility of naming newborn babies with the names of the saving angels. This project, which undoubtedly will produce deep emotions, will have to be adopted by Christians during baptism, Jewish males during circumcision, and every religion according to its rites and traditions. Of course we have consulted the religious authorities and the answer was of enthusiasm and total approval.
Daughters and sons with names of heroes and angels.
”We were pleased to receive your invitation for Us to join the International Committee of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. As We thank you for this kind invitation, We are delighted to inform you herewith that We willingly agree to your request in consideration of what We know of the exemplary struggle of Raoul Wallenberg against Nazi barbarism. Not only is it Our duty to pay homage to this great Swedish diplomat, but also to perpetuate his memory by offering future generations opportunities to get better acquainted with the attitudes and convictions having inspired his notorious humanist.”]]>
”I am well aware of the importance of your organization, and of the eternal debt the Jewish people owe Raoul Wallenberg.”]]>