Coinciding with the celebrations in Buenos Aires, New York, Tel Aviv, Budapest and Montevideo, on August 4, 2003, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, a non government organization founded by Baruch Tenembaum, organized in Santiago de Chile a ceremony to remember the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of people, mostly Jews.
The ceremony was carried out on the 91st birthday of the ”Hero without a grave”, under the co-ordination of the member of the IRWF, Mr. Amikan Doron, next to Wallenberg’s commemorative monument, placed under the central strip of Américo Vespucio avenue, close to the residence of the Swedish Embassy to the Chilean capital.
The Business Attaché of the Swedish Embassy, Mrs. Lena Nordström, the Israeli Ambassador, Yossi Regev; the Mayor of Vitacura, Raúl Torrealba; representatives of the CREJ (Representative Committee of Jewish Entities); of the Hungarian community in Chile (MASZE); as well as community and religious leaders and leaders of non governmentalorganization were present.
After the speeches of Mrs. Nordström, and of the Ambassador of Israel and Mr. Doron, the attending public laid flowers next to Wallenberg’s statue. The ceremony ended with a minute of silence.
Speech of Lena NordströmBusiness Attaché of the Swedish Embassy to Santiago de Chile.
Mr. Ambassador of Israel
Mr. Mayor of Vitacura
Mr. Vice-president of the Jewish Community
Ladies and gentlemen,
For me it is a great honor to represent the Ambassador of Sweden in this ceremony held in memory of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. Many Swedes have memories of their own about Raoul Wallenberg’s actions and of many other Swedish diplomats who helped to save lives at that time. I also grew up with a story of my own, my aunt Natja, who was saved from a concentration camp in Poland, her native country, and arrived in Sweden in what was called a Bernadotte bus, the caravans of buses that belonged to the Red Cross.
Raoul Wallenberg was a man who fought against persecution and inhumanity. He sacrificed everything to save thousands and thousands of human lives during a dark time of world history. Raoul Wallenberg is now honored in the whole world and he symbolizes the fight for humanitarian ideals and the respect for human rights, beginning with the right to life.
I want to emphasize the importance of this monument erected here in Santiago in memory of Raoul Wallenberg, as in many other parts of the world, so that we always have in mind his life and actions for mankind.
Thank you very much.