January 18, 2007

Tribute was paid to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg


on the 62nd anniversary of his disappearance

Rabbi Bergman highlighted his example.

Raoul Wallenberg -the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands from the Nazis in Hungary and was taken 62 years ago by soviet troops- was remembered yesterday in a ceremony at his statue in Buenos Aires.

Rabbi Sergio Bergman encouraged to follow ”his life example” and when remembering him ”not only should we talk about Shoa but also about the dignity of the human being that cannot be alienated in any latitude, nor culture or any regime, nor nation or any man”.

The Executive Director of IRWF Gustavo Jalife introduced the speakers. Before Bergman’s speech, the President of the Foundation Oscar Vicente and the Vice-President Natalio Wengrower spoke.

Vicente remembered Father Fidel Horacio Moreno, who passed away last December, and who was president of the the Wallenberg Foundation. He recalled his courage, wisdom, culture and good humour. He pointed out that he accompanied the founder of both entities, Baruj Tenembaum (who was present in the ceremony) ”in the adventure of opening dialogue among religions since the early sixties”.

Wengrower said that Buenos Aires set August 4th, as the commemorative day for this ”hero without a grave” and added that similar commemorations were carried out in New York, Stockholm and other cities.

Bergman said that his sacrifice was not only for the Jews, ”but for the dignity of the humanity that we still must restore”. Wallenberg was set as a diplomat who acted ”for peace, for the dignity of humanity” and countered his actions with a very different attitude: ”Here, in Buenos Aires, we came to know diplomatic representations that showed destruction, hate and death”.

The audience included diplomats, religious leaders and Holocaust survivors.

Translation: Graciela Forman