May 19, 2005

Controversial plaque will be removed from the foreign affairs ministry


Luis H. Irigoyen is included in a homage for those who fought against the Holocaust, even though he left a hundred Argentine citizens at the mercy of Nazism. In a few hours the plaque will be removed from the building.

Luis H.Irigoyen was the Secretary of the Embassy in Berlin during the Nazi regime. In 1943, officials of the Third Reich wanted to hand over a hundred Jewish fellow country- men to the Argentine authorities.

Irigoyen never answered the Germans, thus leaving his fellow country-men to be judged by the machinery set up to kill Jews, sealing their fate: the gas chamber.

The plaque, that is polished every day by an orderly of the Foreign Ministry , in remembrance of the pretended ” saviours” of the Nazi genocide, includes his name.

Despite all the claims, both by private people and by different organizations, who showed their anger over the plaque, which was unveiled during Adalberto Rodriguez Giavarini’s administration in July 2001, the Foreign Ministry has not as yet removed the homage to 12 people, which is still on the ground floor of the building in 1212 Esmeralda Street.

The Committee for the Research of the Activities of Nazism (CEANA) created by Guido Di Tella in 1997, named twelve people of the Foreign Ministry ”heroes” for their presumed ”solidarity with the victims of Nazism” during the years of the Holocaust.

The indignation that arose from different sectors, is aimed at the ” atrocities” that took place by having included as ”solidary” and ” heroes” people, who at the most, fulfilled their duties as public officials, confirms The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation .

Notwithstanding, what caused more indignation was to read about the inclusion of Irigoyen in that plaque, without knowing the true motives that induced the CEANA to name him a hero in the fight against genocide.

Irigoyen’s actions, there are documents to ascertain them, caused the greatest indignation amidst different figures of society. They joined in solidarity with the complaint presented officially by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation as well as by the writer Uki Goñi, who cannot understand such a historical contradiction.

The requests reached the office of the Department of the Interior, more precisely Minister Aníbal Fernández, who after having spoken with the Minister of Foreign Affairs , Rafael Bielsa, promised to remove the ”homage” as soon as possible. Showing his extreme annoyance because of this historical mistake.
Traduccion: María Pensavalle