The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, created by Baruch Tenembaum, was the driving force behind the initiative to present the prestigious award to the Swedish hero. The project was launched back in 2011 and the Board of the IRWF resolved not to disclose the Foundation’s involvement in order to focus purely on Raoul Wallenberg.
The project was launched under the auspices of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) announced that they introduced companion bills today to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal on Raoul Wallenberg, a hero who saved thousands of lives during Nazi occupation of Hungary during World War II.
Prior to the ceremony, a luncheon was held to honor Eduardo Eurnekian, the Chairman of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, and Baruch Tenembaum. The IRWF’s mission is to preserve and spread awareness regarding the legacy of Raoul Wallenberg through research, commemoration activities and educational programs.
During the luncheon the following speakers addressed the audience: Senators Kristen Gillibrand, Ted Cruz, Ben Cardin, Carl Levin, Lindsey Graham, Al Franken, Mark Kirk and Johnny Isakson. Representatives Gregg Harper, Doug Lamborn, Erik Paulsen, Chris Van Hollen, Paul Gosar, Jim McDermott, Gregory Meeks, Brad Schneider, Steve Cohen, Randy Hultgren, Bob Goodlatte, Robert Pittenger, Steve Stockman, Jim McGovern and Dana Rohrabacher. Among the speakers were Irwin Cotler, Member of the Canadian Parliament; Georgy Szapary, Ambassador of Hungary; Mark F. Brzezinksi, US Ambassador to Sweden; Per Westerberg, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament; Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs; Rosie Rios, US Treasurer and Marie Dupuy, niece of Raoul Wallenberg. Nina Lagergren, sister of Wallenberg, was the guest of honor.
Nina Lagergren received from Baruch Tenembaum and Eduardo Eurnekian a silver medal specially coined by renowned silversmith Carlos Pallarols.
Eduardo Eurnekian pointed out: “We hope that this well-merited recognition by the US Congress will raise the awareness to Wallenberg’s legacy and personal fate, and will serve as a catalyst to resolve the mystery of his disappearance in the hands of the Soviets”.
“The heroic rescue of Hungarian Jews by Raoul Wallenberg during one of the darkest hours of human history exemplifies his outstanding spirit and dedication to humanity,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It is my honor to introduce a bill in the Senate to award Raoul Wallenberg with the Congressional Gold Medal for the innocent Jewish lives that he selflessly saved during the Holocaust.”
Raoul Wallenberg was born on 4 August 1912. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he pursued a career as a businessman in Sweden, and later became a Swedish diplomat. Working with the War Refugee Board, he helped save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.
“The US Congress pays tribute to the IRWF and its Chairman Eduardo Eurnekian, acknowledging the NGO’s unique contribution to the enhancement of the legacy of Raoul Wallenberg and the role it has played in the posthumous bestowal of the Congressional Gold Medal to Raoul Wallenberg”said Baruch Tenenbaum, founder of the NGO and present at the ceremony.
The medal was presented to Nina Lagergren, sister of Raoul Wallenberg, by John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; Harry Reid, Majority Leader of the Senate; Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader of the Senate; Eric Cantor, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi, Leader of the House of Representatives.
During the ceremony, the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and its Chairman, Eduardo Eurnekian, received public recognition by Congressman and Senators for his relentless efforts in promoting the deeds of Wallenberg as well as of other thousands of Holocaust Saviors.
Ben Olander, renowned Swedish singer and composer as well as Vice-President of the Wallenberg Foundation, played “Our gleam of Hope” a song dedicated to the Hero without a Grave.
In 1981 President Ronald Reagan made Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
About the Congressional Gold Medal
The medal was designed and prepared by the United States Mint in recognition of Wallenberg’s achievements and heroic actions during the Holocaust.
The medal’s obverse (heads side) design, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, features a close-up portrait of Wallenberg with the inscriptions RAOUL WALLENBERG, ACT OF CONGRESS 2012, and HERO OF HEROES.
The medal’s reverse (tails side) design is by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The design depicts Wallenberg’s view as he extends a Schutz-pass and a background view of those he could not reach being boarded on a train bound for a concentration camp. Inscriptions are HE LIVES ON FOREVER THROUGH THOSE HE SAVED around the upper border and ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE beneath the Schutz-pass.
Speakers. Read the speeches.
This coming Wednesday on July 9, the American Congress will speak for all Americans and convey a powerful message through the bestowal of the Congressional Gold Medal to remember the courageous acts of Raoul Wallenberg.
Wallenberg was a diplomat who chose not to be indifferent and to rise to a higher moral calling.
We remember and revere this courageous man whose efforts saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust. Wallenberg risked his life, and ultimately gave his life, for his commitment to basic values. We all have the obligation to ponder the full measure of Wallenberg’s personal sacrifice and tragedy.
Born into wealth, for Wallenberg turning a blind eye to the hardship and suffering of others would have been easy. Instead, as First Secretary at the Swedish Legation in Budapest, Hungary during the darkest days of World War II, Wallenberg demonstrated a sense of self-sacrifice to the greater good of his fellow human beings that is a lesson to us all.
A number of diplomats chose to risk their careers and even their lives, and defied official protocols, rules and immigration “policies” to rescue Jews. Many of these diplomats were censured or punished for their acts of courage. Some were fired. Some were stripped of their ranks and pensions. Others were ostracized in their home countries. Their rescue efforts took many forms. Among other selfless acts, they issued visas, citizenship papers and other forms of documentation that allowed Jews to escape the Nazis.
Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul who saved the lives of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, explained:
Those people told me the kind of horror they would have to face if they didn’t get away from the Nazis and I believed them. There was no place else for them to go… If I had waited any longer, even if permission came, it might have been too late.
These diplomats chose not to be indifferent and to rise to a higher moral calling.
Today at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, you will find Raoul Wallenberg’s tree planted among the Avenue of the Righteous. You will also find 2,000 other trees and 18,000 other names engraved in the walls of The Garden of the Righteous in remembrance of those who risked their lives, and some who gave their lives, to save European Jews from the Holocaust.
Why did they do it? Because they believed that “One man can make a difference.” That is the sentence written on the front door of the Raoul Wallenberg School in Brooklyn, New York, one of the many American institutions honoring Raoul Wallenberg. In 1981, the U.S. Congress made Raoul Wallenberg an honorary U.S. citizen, at that time just the second person in history to be honored that way.
“The importance of not being indifferent” is a timely and relevant operating principle in our relationship with the world today. Advancing human dignity and promoting universal rights is at the core of American values. It is also relevant to the challenges of our times, be they in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere.
During his historic visit to Sweden last September, President Barack Obama captured the essence of Wallenberg’s legacy:
Wallenberg’s life is a challenge to us all — to live those virtues of empathy and compassion, even when it’s hard, even when it involves great risk. He came from a prominent family, but he chose to help the most vulnerable. He was a Lutheran, and yet he risked his life to save Jews. “I will never be able to go back to Stockholm,” he said, “without knowing inside myself I’d done all a man could do to save as many Jews as possible.” So when Jews in Budapest were marked with that yellow star, Wallenberg shielded them behind the blue and yellow of the Swedish flag. When they were forced into death marches, he showed up with the food and water that gave them life. When they were loaded on trains for the camps, he climbed on board too and pulled them off. He lived out one of the most important mitzvot, most important commandments in the Jewish tradition — to redeem a captive; to save a life; the belief that when a neighbor is suffering, we cannot stand idly by.
As we consider Wallenberg’s personal sacrifice, we must remember Wallenberg’s tragic end: Languishing in lonely incarceration until he died. Wallenberg epitomizes what self-sacrifice for the sake of others in the context of indifference to human suffering is all about.
While Wallenberg had trained to be an architect, the legacy he left behind is far stronger than one built in stone and mortar; it is the successor generations that followed the people he saved who are today the citizens who are building our societies. Wallenberg not only saved thousands of lives, he also saved our future. It is our duty to keep his memory alive for those future generations who might not have existed without his sacrifice; and to remember that the actions of one person can make an astounding difference.
Mark Brzezinski serves as United States Ambassador to Sweden.]]>
The ceremony took place at the Congress of the United States. Members of the Senate, House of Representatives, diplomats, artists, intellectuals and community leaders attended to recognize the work of the Argentine businessman for his work devoted to promote the values of solidarity and civic courage, ethical cornerstones of the rescuers of the Holocaust. Baruch Tenembaum, founder of the Wallenberg Foundation, will attend the event along with Wallenberg’s sister, Mrs. Nina Lagergren.
Eurnekian received the art piece “Guardian of the Legacy of the Saviors”, by renowned architect and sculptor Frank Meisler. “This is a unique specimen, registered in honor of Eduardo Eurnekian.”
On the occasion, the upcoming recording of a tango, for the first time ever, dedicated to Raoul Wallenberg, was announced. “Dramatic End”, composed by the renowned musician Horacio Malvicino, guitarist in various ensambles of Astor Piazzolla, with whom he recorded 15 records. The lyrics were written by a celebrated Argentinean singer, Chico Novarro and world famous singer, Susana Rinaldi, will perform the song.
The event was co-organized together with Casa Argentina en Israel-Tierra Santa and The Spanish-Speaking Friends of the Tel Aviv University.
The ceremony paid tribute to three rescuers: Louise and Joseph Materne, a Belgian couple that saved the life of a Jewish child in the Shoah, and a contemporary hero – Sandra Samuel, who saved the life of the child Moshe Holtzberg, in the terrorist attack perpetrated against Chabad House in Mumbai, in 2008, in which Moshe’s parents, Rivka and Gavriel Z’l, were murdered.
The packed audience included ambassadors and diplomatic personnel from a number of Embassies in Israel.
The ceremony was conducted by Mr. Eduardo Bigio, on behalf of the Spanish-Speaking Friends of the Tel Aviv University, who greeted the public and stressed the unique symbolism of the ceremony.
The keynote speakers were the renown journalist Mr. Henrique Cymerman and Mr. Danny Rainer, Vice-President of the Wallenberg Foundation.
Two films created and directed by Mr. Cymerman were screened on the occasion: The documentary film “Juanito”, which tells the awe-inspiring story of the Belgian rescuers of Dr. Zalman Shiffer, and an interview with Sandra Samuel, who could not make it to the event as she was rushed to hospital due to a sudden health problem which, fortunately, though not serious, required immediate medical attention.
In his speech, Mr. Cymerman told the breathtaking story of his own family, during the Shoah and in a brief and live interview with Dr. Shiffer, the role of the IRWF was emphasized.
Mr. Rainer, in turn, introduced to the audience the mission and activities of the Wallenberg Foundation, stressing that its most important contribution is to “encourage people to exercise the recognition of goodness, very much like Dr. Shiffer and the Rosenbergs (grandparents of Moshe) are teaching us with their deeds… for the recognition of goodness and gratitude are cardinal pillars of Judaism and of all people of good will”. Mr. Rainer went on by saying that the beauty of this ceremony is that not only the IRWF is paying tribute to these heroes, but the entire audience is actively participating in this homage.
At the end of the ceremony, Rabbi Shimeon Rosenberg, his wife Yehudit, and the little Moshe came up to the stage amidst a standing ovation from the audience. Mr. Guillermo Sverdlin, President of the Spanish-Speaking Friends of the Tel Aviv University and Mr. Danny Rainer, presented the 2011 Raoul Wallenberg Award to the little Moshe, and Dr. Zalman Shiffer handed the diploma to his grandparent.
Rabbi Rosenberg asked to say a few spontaneous words and thanked the IRWF for this well-merited tribute, stressing the importance of recognizing the good, regardless of race, nationality or religion.
PHOTOS by: Chabad On Line (COL) / Avi Aziz / Inbal Tenembaum.]]>
The program will start with a lecture by the internationally acclaimed journalist Henrique Cymerman, and the presentation of the film-interview Juanito.
Juanito tells the remarkable story of Dr. Zalman Shiffer and his “brother” Juanito, which the IRWF has researched and documented in 2010. In 1942 in Belgium, Zalman was given shelter at the house of Louise and Joseph Materne, who had already had a Spanish boy named Juanito – who fled the Spanish Civil War – living at their house. The film-interview tells the story of these two brothers by accident, and the way this experience has changed their lives forever.
After the short intermission a special Ceremony of Honoring Sandra Samuel will take place.
Sandra Samuel saved the life of two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg in the terrorist attack that took place in Mumbai during the November of 2008. Sandra was working for Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, at the Mumbai Chabad House since 2003, being Moshe’s nanny since his birth. On November 26, 2008, Sandra showed incredible courage rescuing Moshe while the terrorist who took the lives of his parents were still in the building.
Danny Rainer, Vice President of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation will bestow a special distinction to Sandra Samuel.
Friday, May 6, at 10.30 AM
Auditorium Bar Shira, TAU
George Wise Street
View announcement in original size
Tomorrow, on 17th of January, the world will mark the 66th anniversary of the traceless disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg.
Raoul Wallenberg, who grew up in the very distinguished Wallenberg family in Sweden, found in his grandfather, a well-travelled diplomat, a mentor and confident.
Encouraged by his grandfather he soon became fluent in English, French, German and Russian. He studied architecture at the University of Michigan. When he couldn’t find a job in Sweden he started to work in various business ventures. Therefore he spent some months in Haifa, where he first met Jewish refugees, who could escape from the Shoah.
He was so touched by the fate of the Jewish people that he changed his whole life. Inspired by a friend of his family, an Hungarian Jew, he started to learn Hungary and to travel to Budapest to find out news about the family of this friend.
When back in 1944, the American War Refugee Board started searching for a person whose mission would be to try to save at least some Hungarian Jews from the Nazi-death-machine, someone who speaks German and Hungarian, someone with an independent spirit, Raoul Wallenberg was ready for this mission.
The American War Refugee feared that Raoul Wallenberg might be too young for the task ahead (He was 32 years old.) But they found no other person to send and Raoul Wallenberg took the assignment
As a Swedish citizen he was attached to the Swedish embassy in Budapest, but he behaved as if he were free from any diplomatic restrictions.
Immediately he started his great work of rescue: he established an office, hired 400 Jewish volunteers and advised them to remove the yellow star and told them: ‘You are now under diplomatic protection; you are working for the Swedish government.’
Wallenberg invented a special Swedish passport, the Schutzpass.(passport of protection) It was a colorful, imposing, official looking document. With permission from no one, he announced that it granted the holder immunity from deportation to the death camps.
Using his American funds, Wallenberg scoured the city for buildings to rent. He eventually found thirty-two, which he declared to be “extraterritorial buildings” protected by Swedish diplomatic immunity.
Wallenbergs’s ‘safe houses’ and ‘Passports of protection’ saved thousands of Jewish lives. He didn’t know any fear and confronted Nazis and even Eichmann, who wanted to avoid a conflict with the ‘neutral’ State of Sweden. Nevertheless they hated Raoul Wallenberg and referred to him as a ‘Jew Dog’ ; and when his car was blown up, he started to hide his sleeping places.
When the Red Army approached Budapest, the Nazis stepped-up the violence against Jewish people and planned a massacre. That’s why Wallenberg decided, that especially in such a moment his presence was indispensable. So he remained in Budapest till the Red Army arrived.
On the 17th of January 1945 he was invited to a conversation in the Russian military headquarters.
From that day none of his friends and family saw him again. No trace remained; even a proof of his death was not given.
He paid his saving work with his freedom and probably with his life.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation strives to keep alive the memory of this courageous and humanitarian young man. And the foundation tries to teach the deeds of Raoul Wallenberg as an example, how single human beings can make a difference, even when facing the darkest of regimes .
The interest of the Foundation didn’t stop at the historical point which marks the military defeat of the Nazis.
The Nazis themselves didn’t disappear: they found new identities in South-America, but also in Europe and in the new founded Federal Republic of Germany. Very soon they entered high political and diplomatic positions – openly or with assumed identities. No one wanted to investigate the atrocious Nazi Crimes.
A friend of mine told me that even in our days a story was unfolded about a persuaded SS-man, who lived till now – his Nazi background well known by all his neighbours– as a respected person in his village.
Not so respected were the very few people who tried to investigate the Nazis and their deeds and careers. They were as few, as the people who, during the war, tried to fight against the Nazis, the way Raoul Wallenberg did. And these few people were met with hostility and insulted as denigrators of their countries.
The public disliked more the investigators than the Nazi-criminals.
So, not only between 1933-45 civil-courage, humanity, bravery, honesty and straightforwardness were asked, but also in the years and decades afterwards
While Nazis could easily arrange their careers, the surviving victims were restricted, fooled with empty promises and very little money (called reparation), they were suspected and controlled. And they had to fight to lead a normal life.
The very few persons who stood at their side didn’t get the honour they deserved.
I must tell you it is an honour for the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, and especially for me: a citizen of the country of the perpetrators to present the award of the Wallenberg foundation to Beate and Serge Klarsfeld.
Beate Klarsfeld came here as an ‘au-pair-Girl’ and the first survivor she met was Serge Klarsfeld, who was going to become her husband.
She was touched by the fate of the Nazi-victims. And very much like Raoul Wallenberg she decided to fight for justice for the victims. Both Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, devoted their lives to unmask Nazi-criminals and fight for the rights of the survivors and the murdered Jewish people.
When Beate Klarsfeld accused the German Chancellor regarding his previous Nazi-career, she lost her job.
When she revealed his Nazi-past in a way that the people could not ignore, only the French citizenship saved her from being thrown to a German jail.
The former Gestapo-Chief of Paris responsible for nearly 76 000 deportations – although convicted in France – lived openly in Germany, because there didn’t exist an extradition treaty between these two countries. And Germany did not judge his crimes, because he was already judged in France. So he lived unchallenged. Beate and Serge Klarsfeld tried to kidnap him. It was a pity, that they didn’t succeed. Although they revealed his Nazi-past and crimes, an arrest warrant was issued against Beate and Serge Klarsfeld. To bring him finally to jail Beate Klarsfeld had to risk and to experience herself a German jail. Kurt Lischka and his companions were finally punished – with a few years of jail.
Meanwhile well known as ‘Nazi-hunters’ Beate and Serge Klarsfeld began to live a dangerous life: threatened, receiving a parcel bomb, they decided to continue their endeavours. Their car was blown up to pieces, same as Raoul Wallenberg’s car. The Nazis didn’t change their methods between 1944 and 1979.
Beate and Serge Klarsfeld were decidedly involved in finding and convicting Klaus Barby the Gestapo Chief and ‘slaughterer’ of Lyon.
Nazis unmasking in Bolivia, arrested in Syria, where Nazi-criminals, for example the deputy of Eichmann, could hunker down – an adventurous life. But a laborious and troublesome life - fighting as David against Goliath. Two people, who make a difference.
Two people who worked for righteousness.
Two people who devoted time and energy to keep alive the memory of the victims,
- ad example with the book of Serge Klarsfeld in 1978, where at the first time all the names of the deported and murdered French Jews were written to keep them in mind,
- ad example with an exhibition about the deportation of 11000 Jewish children from France to the death-camps. ‘Special trains to death’: French people know this exhibition very well. In Germany the rail-company tried to prevent the exhibition, because it reveals the companionship of the rail-company and the Nazis.
The sons and daughters of deported French Jews found help, support and solidarity in the Klarsfeld foundation.
The Klarsfelds revealed French Nazi-collaboration and succeeded to get some ‘reparation money’ by the state of France for the victims.
Much more time would be required to mention all what Beate and Serge Klarsfeld had done.
Fighting worldwide against anti-Semitism, Nazism, for righteousness against the oblivion: that was the great task, for which they dedicated their life and power with civil-courage, humanity, bravery, honesty and straightforwardness.
I specially would like to thank Beate Klarsfeld, because she demonstrated that there is a possibility to leave the German-Nazi-history, not denying, but revealing and changing and starting a new face of Germany. She personifies the real honour of my country.
Thanks a lot!
Pastor Annemarie Werner
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation]]>
The ceremony took place at the Mémorial de la Shoah, salle Kelman, 17, rue Geoffroy-l’Asnier, Paris, on Sunday, 16 January, at 4:00 p.m. The ceremony was conducted by Mr Jacques Fredj, director of the Mémorial de la Shoah. Alain de Toledo, member of the Wallenberg Foundation and Louise von Dardel, Wallenberg’s niece, were among the special guests of the event.
Special representative of the Wallenberg Foundation, Pastor Annemarie Werner, head of the Vaterunser Congregation in Berlin travelled to Paris in order to bestow the Wallenberg Award upon Mr. and Mrs. Klarsfeld.
“It is an honour for the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, and especially for me, a citizen of the country of the perpetrators of the Shoah, to present the award of the Wallenberg foundation to Beate and Serge Klarsfeld”, stressed Pastor Werner. (Read complete speech of Pastor Werner here.)
From Australia, Dr. Frank Vajda, head of the Free Wallenberg Australian Committee, welcomed the award: “Heartiest and most sincere congratulations for this act of bestowing the Raoul Wallenberg Award to these most worthy and wonderful people, who have done so much to try to redress the injustice created by the Shoah and who themselves become a symbol of “never forgetting”!
Ann Froman, American artist, saluted the event. “Bless you, for this wonderful honor to two most deserving people. Beate and Serge Klarsfeld. I had the great pleasure of meeting Beate Klarsfeld, in Seattle WA. It was in the early 80′s when I was having an exhibition there. She was so informative and brave for all they have done. May the hunt still go on.”
Among other recipients of the Wallenberg Award were French intellectual, André Chouraqui; Spanish journalist, Eduardo Martín de Pozuelo and Swedish diplomat, Peter Landelius.
About Beate and Serge Klarsfeld
Mrs. Klarsfeld is the daughter of a Christian, German-born, regular Wehrmacht soldier. She lived in Germany during the Second World War. At the age of 21 she travelled to Paris to study and work. In 1963 she met Serge Klarsfeld who introduced her to the French intellectual milieu, and became interested in the fate of the Jews during the Holocaust.
Serge Klarsfeld was born in Bucharest, Romania. He is a writer, historian and lawyer. His family moved to France at the beginning of the Second World War. In 1943, his father was arrested by the SS during a raid in the city of Nice, being deported to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was murdered. Serge, with his mother and sister survived the war. He obtained a degree in advanced studies in history at the Sorbonne and in political science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.
More on Beate and Serge Klarsfeld at the official website:
About the Wallenberg Award
The Raoul Wallenberg Award was created with the goal of distinguishing those people who demonstrate integrity in their conducts, outstanding performance in their respective occupations, and firm and continuous support of non-governmental organizations. The Raoul Wallenberg Award was presented for the first time in 2000, thereby bestowing upon the 21st century a much-needed welcoming message of hope.
About the Wallenberg Foundation
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is a global-reach NGO with offices and correspondents in New York, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro. More than 200 heads of state and Nobel Prize laureates comprise its Honorary Board. Its founder is Mr. Baruch Tenembaum. Its main mission is to research, document and divulge the legacies of the rescuers of victims of the Holocaust, focusing on the creation of educational programs.
Video of the ceremony]]>
Jean Pierre Bendahan and Rodrigo Rendo, volunteers of the programme that aims at promoting the values of solidarity and civil courage, ethical pillars of the Saviours of the Holocaust, received the award. The ”Wallenberg at School” Programme started its activities in 2001 and is sponsored by the City of Buenos Aires.
”Education is the main topic that summons us on a daily basis. We share the principles of the World Conference that deal with ”Education for everyone”, particulary the one that refers to education as the essence of any strategy that aims at reducing the levels of poverty in the world. We know that when people have greater access to education they obtain a deeper understanding of their rights”, said Edgardo de Vincenzi, President of AAPE.
Furthermore, professor Beatriz Montes de Oca, directive of the AAPE, stressed that ”We share the ideals and projects based on the value of education. That’s why we find appropiate today to renew our hope in the goodness of our work in order to remain on this noble road.”
The Programme ”Wallenberg at School” is expected to expand its presentations to more schools as of the year 2005, incorporating new pedagogical and communication tools.
Translation: Clarisa Fernandez]]>
The award, conferred by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, is aimed at recognising the conduct of people who stand out, not only in the defence of individual freedoms, but also for their spirit and their solidary actions, following examples given during their lives by hundreds of saviours.
The ceremony took place on November 18th at the Argentine Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Foreign Service Institute auditorium (ISEN in Spanish). The award winners were seated at the head table with Portuguese Ambassador to Argentina, Antonio Almeida Ribeiro; the dean of the ISEN, Ambassador José Sanchís Muñoz and the Vice-president of the IRWF, Dr. Natalio Wengrower.
Also present was Álvaro de Sousa Mendes, grandson of the Portuguese diplomat and President of the Aristides de Sousa Mendes Foundation of Lisbon, who travelled specially to Argentina for the event. Another grandson, Francisco Sousa Mendes sent a letter from Portugal to the founder IRWF, Baruch Tenembaum, praising the initiative.
Speaking before an audience of over two hundred peoples the Portuguese Ambassador read letters of greetings from the Prime Minister and the President of Portugal after which he presented the 2002 Sousa Mendes Award to the winners.
Seventy-two hours earlier, IRWF volunteer John Crisostomo presented the Sousa Mendes Commemorative Medal to former Portuguese Prime Minister Mario Soares in a ceremony held Lisbon. Soares was the head of state that publicly rehabilitated Sousa Mendes’ name and apologised for the injustices committed against the diplomat during the Antonio de Oliveira Salazar dictatorship.]]>
On the occasion, the ”Raoul Wallenberg Award” was presented by Mr Tenembaum to Professor Nathan André Chouraqui, one of the most celebrated intellectuals of the XXth century. The award recognizes his life time career and dedication to the promotion of the values of dialogue and understanding in the interconfessional area. Professor Chouraqui is a member of the International Angelo Roncalli Committee.
Renowned international lawyer and humanist, Dr. Samuel Pisar, delivered a speech on behalf of the Wallenberg Foundation along with Jean Pierre Bendahan, Vicepresident of the IRWF.
The IRWF created this award to stimulate all people of good will who have demonstrated through their life an unwavering commitment to upholding the humanitarian values which Raoul Wallenberg stands for.
The Raoul Wallenberg Award was presented for the first time in the year 2000. It was received then by businessman Oscar Vicente and former Swedish Ambassador to Argentina, Peter Landelius. In 2002 the recipients were Israeli Ambassador Hertzl Inbar and Spanish Congressman Gustavo de Arístegui.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation is an NGO that carries the name of the Swedish diplomat, savior of tens of thousands of Jews and others persecuted by Nazism. Its mission is to educate within the example of the values of solidarity and courage manifested by the Saviours of the Holocaust.]]>