June 21, 2004

Religious activity: Sousa Mendes

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With religious offices in churches and synagogues of different countries, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, rendered homage to Aristides de Sousa Mendes, on the 50 anniversary of the Portuguese diplomat’s death, who by disobeying orders from his government, saved thousands of people persecuted by Nazism in occupied France, by issuing visas of his country.

In Argentina there were celebrations at the Israeli temple of Libertad Street, at the Talmut School, at the Mishkan temple and in the Adat community.

In New York a mass was celebrated by the representative of the Holy See to the UN, Monsignor Celestino Migliore. On that ocassion Baruch Tenembaum, creator of the foundation, expressed: ”We, Jews, must keep the balance between complain for what we have suffered and the total acknowledgement to the people who helped us”. In Rome, Cardinal Renato Martino, in Saint Mary, Trastevere, celebrated a mass. It was remembered that Sousa Mendes, who risked his life, used to say: ”I would rather be with God against men than with men against God”. In Buenos Aires, last Monday, the foundation inaugurated a website with 1,500 pages, in English and Spanish: www.raoulwallenberg.net