The work remembers the diplomat disappeared during the second world war
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation(IRWF) donated to the US Embassy in Argentina a sculpture dedicated to the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of people from death during the second world war. The ceremony took place on Friday, March 17, 2000 at the residence of the American Ambassador in Buenos Aires and it is part of the educational program ‘Diplomacy and the Holocaust’, a project with the aim of promoting the rescue actions of numerous diplomats who saved the lives of people persecuted by the Nazi regime during the Shoá (1933-1945).
The Chargé d’ affairs of the US Embassy, Victor Manuel Rocha, received the donation from Natalio Wengrower after the words of the vice-president and President of the Organization, Oscar Vicente and Pbro. Horacio F. Moreno, respectively. It was announced that the piece of art will be shown permanently at the consular section of the American Embassy.
Among the people present were, Ambassador of Sweden, Peter Landelius; Representative of the Palestine National Authority, Suhail Hani Daher Akel; Secretary of Worship of the Nation, Norberto Padilla; Tomas Kertesz and Lazlo Ladanyi, both saved by Wallenberg in 1944, and the Rabbi of the Argentine Israeli Congregation, Simón Moguilevsky.
‘In the middle of a general crisis of values we believe that it is the right time to announce organically the exemplary way in which many public servants carried out their functions by helping people threatened by terrorism of State to avoid death’, pointed out the writer José Ignacio García Hamilton one of the coordinators of the program.
The program, sponsored by Argentine companies and with which academicians and historians of the United States, Germany, Sweden and Israel collaborate, stresses the need to hold the absolute inviolability of freedom of expression and of worship as well as the inalienable right to life threatened by totalitarian States and fundamentalisms of different groups.
Raoul Wallenberg is the Swedish diplomat that during 1944 and 1945 during his mission in Budapest and when the Nazi regime was carrying out massive extermination programs and euthanasia, challenged Adolf Eichmann himself and saved thousands of people, mostly Jewish, by issuing passports of security. In January 1945 he disappeared kidnapped by the Soviet army.
Nothing else was known of him. In 1981, he was declared Honorary Citizen of the US.
Thew introduction of the program was on December 9, 1999 at the Swedish Embassy in Buenos Aires and continued on January 5, 2000 at the offices of LA NACION newspaper.
The Argentine President, Fernando De la Rua, supported the initiative: ‘I am sure that this educational program will allow to proceed the investigation and recognition of other efforts, even of Argentine citizens, in the middle of the horrors of Nazism.’, pointed out the Head of State in an interview.
The IRWF is an international association created within the interfaith non-governmental organization Casa Argentina en Jerusalem. Among its members it is worth mentioning Natalio Wengrower, Baruj Tenembaum, US congressman, Tom Lantos; Elie Wiesel, Vaclav Havel, Stuart Eizenstat, Gerald Ford, Rudolph Giuliani and Simone Veil. It has the support of the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan.