Wallenberg: a bridge between Buenos Aires and Washington



An Argentinian in the Capital of the United States

Right to left, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state of the United States; Perla Tenembaum and Baruch Tenembaum.
Washington, D.C. - Can you imagine it: a State Secretary playing piano to accompany a singer?

Can you imagine it: the chancellor of the most powerful country in the world playing the piano for an audience of 300 distinguised guests?

Can you imagine it: dignitaries applauding and the State Secretary thanking the audience?

Furthermore, the “coloured” State Secretary, Condoleezza Rice, in Washington, was delighted to participate in an homage to honour Raoul Wallenberg.

This happened last Saturday in Washington D.C., at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, to mark the initiation of a campaign to make the people aware of the pulmonary hypertension illness.

The granddaughter of Congressist Tom Lantos, Charity Sunshine, who is ailing but at the same time has a strong willpower and has been gifted with an extraordinary voice, gave a concert in which she sang pieces composed by Verdi, Mozart, Kern and Newton, among others, accompanied by Condoleezza Rice, who played the piano.

Congressist Lantos stated: “I dedicate this event to the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, who saved my life, and I am pleased to greet his niece Nane Annan and her husband Kofi” (Secretary General of the Organisation of the United Nations – ONU).

Both stood up to acknowledge the applause. They were seated on the fourth row of the special parterre. Seated in front of them was a couple that spoke to each other in Spanish; in Hebrew with their neighbours on the right side; in Yiddish with an Orthodox Jew who was seated next to them on the left side, and in English with the Ambassador from a Scandinavian country. It was assumed that the couple speaking these languages was of Latin American origin, but it was later disclosed that it was the founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Mr. Baruch Tenembaum.

“He has just managed to have Circular Nr 11 annulled in Buenos Aires and could not travel to meet President Kirchner for he opted to attend this event”, expressed a colleague from a European news agency.

It was a remarkable evening during which the Argentine Republic was present, and in which the memory of Raoul Wallenberg was honoured. A man that inspired the creation in Buenos Aires of a Foundation in his name. A Foundation that achieved the aim of removing a shameful plaque which honoured persons who were mistakenly considered as saviours, as well as repealing a secret law that had been worrying the Foundation for many years.

It was an evening full of victories for Truth, a celebration that brought pleasure to the authorities who met in the American capital city on a Saturday, coming from all regions of the country. “The Wallenberg Foundation managed to turn a 66-year-old problem into a solution for the future with one single gesture that underlines the new attitude adopted by the Argentine Government”, were the words of a diplomat who attended the gala.

The bridge of understanding stretches between Buenos Aires and Washington DC through this non-governmental organization, which at the same time is an inter-confessional link by means of a series of works of art (murals, frescoes) and educational programmes.

The event took place under the auspices of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and Congressist Lantos.