King Carl XVI Gustaf from Sweden decided to grant the Argentine Baruch Tenembaum. The award recognizes the contribution made by the founder of the Raoul Wallenberg International Foundation to keeping the memory of the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of people persecuted by Nazism alive. This distinction also rewards Mr. Tenembaum’s efforts for fostering dialogue among different religions. The Order was presented by Arne Rodin, Swedish Ambassador to Argentina.
The ceremony took place at the Residence of the Swedish Ambassador in Buenos Aires on December 19, 2006 and was attended by a sizeable audience. Among them: Santa Fe’s Governor, Mr. Jorge Obeid; Chief Rabbi of Buenos Aires, Salomón Ben Hamú and other diplomats, members of IRWF and community leaders.
Hundreds of messages of support were received from all over the world. Among them: Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Stepan Mesic, President of Croatia; Congressman Tom Lantos; Pastor Annemarie Werner, from Berlin’s Vaterunser Church, Louise von Dardel, Raoul Wallenberg’s niece and Nobel laureates Rich Roberts, Robert Curl and Claude Cohen-Tannoundji.
Mr. Tenembaum remembered Father Horacio Moreno, former president of the IRWF who died just a few weeks before the ceremony, as an extraordinary person and as a worldwide pioneer of dialogue among religions.
About the Royal Order of the Polar Star
The Order of the Polar Star was until 1975 intended as a reward for Swedish and foreign ”civic merits, for devotion to duty, for science, literary, learned and useful works and for new and beneficial institutions”. The cross of the order is of the Maltese type and was originally worn in a black sash; since 1975 the sash is blue with yellow edges. The emblem bears the device of the order, ”Nescit occasum” (It knows no decline.)
Former US State Secretary Colin Powell; Congressman, Tom Lantos; actress Greta Garbo and writer Susan Sontag are among those who received this important award.
Translation: Cristina Mendez