Global NGO raises issue of Swedish diplomat’s fate 68 years after he went missing
In a letter addressed to leaders of major industrialized democracies the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation asks for the closing of one of the most controversial and lasting human right’s cases since the end of World War II.
Heads of State of Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, India, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom and Japan were selected by the Wallenberg Foundation to create awareness about a cause that involves the fate of a man that helped save the lives of thousands of Jews and others that became targets of Nazi persecution.
The letter, signed by Eduardo Eurnekian and Baruch Tenembaum, Chairman and Founder of the Wallenberg Foundation respectively, states, among other concepts:
“These brief lines are about the fate of Raoul Wallenberg, one of the greatest heroes in the history of mankind that went missing on 17 January 1945, after being arrested by the Soviet Army.”
“During President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Stockholm, Raoul Wallenberg’s sister, Nina Lagergren and his sister-in-law, Matilda von Dardel, took the opportunity to hand over a personal letter asking the US President to raise the issue of Raoul’s fate with the Russian authorities.”
“Knowing your unique sensitivity to both Wallenberg’s legacy and personal tragedy, we respectfully ask you to raise this issue with the Russian authorities, whether in your own meetings with President Vladimir Putin or in any other high-profile encounters between your government officials and Russian counterparts.”
On 4 September, on his way to the G-20 Summit, President Obama paid tribute to Raoul Wallenberg in a moving ceremony at the Great Synagogue of Stockholm.
On 5 September the Wallenberg Foundation sent a letter to President Obama. It reads:
“The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation deals with Wallenberg’s two unique dimensions: the hero and the victim.”
“As a hero, he was a role model and therefore we engage in educational programs aimed at instilling the values of solidarity in the hearts and minds of the young generations. As a victim, he was arbitrarily imprisoned by the Soviets, never to be seen again. We do not spare any efforts to campaign for him. “
“For many years we have worked with his late half-brother, Professor Guy von Dardel, who devoted his life to try and save his sibling. Nowadays, we are working with his widow, Matilda, and their dear daughters, Louise and Marie, as well as with Raoul’s half-sister, Nina Lagergren, with the same aim.”
“We strongly support the notion that the Russian authorities should allow a fluent and unfettered access to the KGB archives. This is a crucial step towards putting an end to this human tragedy.”
As part of the centennial celebrations, in 2012, President Obama became the first US President to make a video address devoted entirely to Raoul Wallenberg.
In 2012 the Wallenberg Foundation instituted a US$ 500,000 reward for reliable and scientifically verifiable information that could help bring Wallenberg and his driver, Vilmos Langfelder, back to Sweden. The announcement was first made on August 2012 to United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.