Home > General > June/July 2007
- Souza Dantas was named ”Righteous Among the Nations”
Souza Dantas was in charge of the Brazilian diplomatic mission in France for 20 years. Moved for what he later called ”a Christian feeling of mercy”, he granted diplomatic visas to enter Brazil to hundreds of people who, from the point of view of the Brazilian immigration policy, were considered undesirable. They were Jews, communists and homosexuals who were running away from the horror of Nazism. With his actions, Souza Dantas saved about 800 people from extermination.
- Anniversary of Angelo Roncalli’s Passing
Roncalli – who would become Pope John XXIII – played a pivotal role in saving the lives of thousands of Jews while serving as the papal representative to Turkey during World War II. Roncalli first heard about the plight of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe when he met Jewish refugees fleeing Poland in September 1940 and helped them reach Palestine, then a British colony. As the persecution increased, Roncalli accelerated his activities. With the help of Bulgaria’s King Boris, Roncalli used the Red Cross to save thousands of Slovakian Jews who had been deported to Bulgaria prior to extermination and he used diplomatic couriers, papal representatives and the Sisters of Our Lady of Zion to transport and issue baptismal certificates, immigration certificates and visas -many of them forged- to Hungarian Jews.
- Screening of Legado – Montreal, Canada.
Yiddish Cafe presents the documentary film Legado by Vivían Imar and Marcelo Trotta in Spanish and Yiddish with English subtitles. The documentary Legado chronicles the life of Russian-Jewish refugees who fled the pogroms of the 19th century, to begin new lives and develop a vibrant cultural life as gauchos judíos in Argentine agricultural collectives. Legado is a production of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Centro de Investigación Cinematográfica, with the support of the National Institute of Cinema. The screening will take place at the Jewish Public Library, 5151 Côte Ste-Catherine, Montréal, Quebec H3W 1M6 – Canada – 8:00 p.m. Tickets & Info: (514) 345-2627 , ext. 3006. See the Flyer
- Tribute to the Saviors of the Holocaust at the Embassy of Austria in Buenos Aires.
On Thursday June 14th, at the Embassy of Austria in Buenos Aires, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Embassy of Austria, presented the ”The Righteous of Austria” exhibition which pays tribute to those people who practiced values of solidarity and civic courage to assist to people who were persecuted by the Nazism during the period of the Holocaust.
- Sousa Mendes served as Consul of Portugal to Bordeaux, France in the spring of 1940. He disobeyed the orders of Prime Minister Salazar of Portugal, and with the help of Rabbi Chaim Kruger, issued false transit visas that allowed at least 30.000 refugees to escape persecution in France. Sousa Mendes was determined to follow what he called a ”divine power” to assist all those in need, regardless of the personal sacrifices he would make. In 1941, Prime Minister Salazar, who maintained Portugal’s neutrality in the war, but was a Nazi supporter in the fight against Communism, gained knowledge of Mendes’ actions. Sousa Mendes was stripped of his title, and the utterance of his name forbidden. He died in disgrace in April 1954, and was not remembered properly until 1987 when Portugal awarded him the Order of Liberty, and officially dismissed all charges in 1988.
- 115th Anniversary of the Birth of Mexican Savior Gilberto Bosques Saldívar (1892-1995). During his diplomatic mission in France, Gilberto Bosques helped persecuted Jews and other war resistants to escaped to Mexico. In 1943, his work as Consul was interrupted by the Nazi army, who vanished his rescue activity and captured him in the German village of Bad Godsenberg for a year. Later on, he served as the Ambassador of Mexico in Portugal, Finland, Sweden and Cuba.
- The Congressional Human Rights Caucus Special Briefing on Wallenberg – Washington DC, USA. The briefing included a viewing of Raoul Wallenberg from ”60 Minutes” with Dan Rather and counted with the presence of Mrs. Annette Lantos, rescued by Mr. Wallenberg, who is the wife of the Honorable Congressman, Tom Lantos, Democratic M.C. of the 12th District of California. After the viewing, IRWF representative Kayla Kaufman spoke of how Raoul Wallenberg saved 100,000 Hungarian Jews including herself, her parents, two younger sisters and a baby brother during the Holocaust.