On my brother Raoul Wallenberg and our family’s behalf I want to thank Casa Argentina en Jerusalem, The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and all the people who made possible the outstanding events which took place in Buenos Aires during this week. We are thankful and honored to see that Raoul is remembered this way. I also speak on behalf of the thousands of lives that were saved by Raoul Wallenberg and his colleges in Budapest.
I am deeply touched by the interest yet arisen by this case in a so faraway country and after half a century. It is necessary for us to always remember. Memory allows us to learn from the past and I hope that future generations are inspired by the ”spirit” of these actions. Raoul Wallenberg and those who worked with him showed us what it means to take charge PERSONALLY of a situation. The personal commitment, together with a complete determination and great skill is what made Raoul Wallenberg’s efforts so effective. Tragically, Raoul paid a high price by his commitment and we still do not know what his real destiny was, after being kept in custody by the Russians. Russia’s official statement declares that he died in a Soviet prison in July 1947, but the circumstances of his supposed death are uncertain. Did he die of a heart attack or was he executed? Or did he survive at the Soviet Gulag? And in this case, for how long?
We owe Raoul to find the truth! A Swedish – Russian bilateral group of work launched an investigation seven years ago; specially about the Russian files. This investigation team has achieved important results, but it is evident that there is still plenty to know, not only Raoul’s fate but also about the reasons of it. There are people alive who know the truth. Likewise, as we have been reported, many documents related to Raoul Wallenberg’s case were destroyed. Nevertheless, we believe that the most important files must have been preserved.
Maybe I am criticized for insisting on finding the truth about only ONE MAN, when many others have died. But when those whom we love cannot speak anymore, we must speak for them. When Argentina suffered the terrible pain of the disappeared, the country witnessed the brave claim of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo. Our family was too weak to oppose, without any help, the forces that captured Raoul Wallenberg, but as long as we are alive, we will not abandon the claim about Raoul’s fate!
We know that finding the truth is a slow and hard work and we need your help, the people’s help
Truth will be unveiled someday, and it will be, as the Romans used to say ”a monument that will last longer than marble”. On Raoul Wallenberg’s behalf I want to thank all of you for being here.
Professor Guy Von Dardel
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
Casa Argentina en Jerusalem
Buenos Aires, November 19, 1998