March 2008

Dear Friends,

The last month has been a month of remembering. We remembered our dear friend and co-founder Tom Lantos at a moving event in the Capitol. We remembered the Holocaust during the Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the United Nations and around the world. We remembered Raoul Wallenberg’s deeds on the 63rd anniversary of his disappearance in a series of events. And we remembered the little-known deeds of the Consul General of Denmark in Norway during WWII.

As we remember our heroes, from Wallenberg to Lantos, we are reminded of our mission, not only never to forget, but also always to remember.

Baruch Tenembaum

Consul Schroeder – Little Known Hero

During the Holocaust, Norman Poser’s grandmother was held in prison with other Jews in Norway. Hans Henning Schroeder, Consul of Denmark in Norway, who granted her a visa to Denmark, saving her life. ”Schroeder ‘coached’ my grandmother about what to say”, said Poser, in an event organized by IRWF in New York. ”He told her that since her husband died in Denmark and therefore had Danish and not Norwegian citizenship, according to the laws of the time, she was in fact Danish too.” Freed from the prison where she was held with other Norwegian Jews, Poser’s grandmother went to Denmark with Consul Schroeder’s help, only to be rescued again in October 1943, as part of the large-scale rescue operation that saved almost all Danish Jews. [/?en/news/presentation-book-escape-jcc.4613.htm]

Celebrating the life of IRWF co-founder Tom Lantos at the U.S. Capitol

Friends, family and dignitaries came together at the Capitol to remember Congressman Tom Lantos who died on February 11th, days after his 80th birthday. IRWF member Elie Wiesel spoke about the similar experience he and Lantos had during the Holocaust and how those experiences shaped their lives. In a series of moving speeches, Congressmen, Nancy Pelosi, Tzipi Livni, Condoleezza Rice, Bono, Ban Ki-Moon, Lantos’ daughters and grandchildren, and Rabbi Schneier all emphasized Lantos’ relentless commitment to human rights. This commitment and mission are rooted in his experience as a teen rescued by the champion of human rights, Raoul Wallenberg. [/?en/news/you-need-love.4666.htm]

Portugal Honors Savior Sousa Mendes

Parliament Speaker Jaime Gama presided at the official launch of a website chronicling the life and work of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a career diplomat who died in poverty and obscurity more than 50 years ago. Sousa Mendes was the Portuguese Consul General in Bordeaux, France, when the Germans invaded. Defying his government’s instructions, he issued visas to an estimated 30,000 people in only 3 days. [/?en/press/portugal-honors-diplomat-saved.4712.htm]

Two Exhibitions Remembering Saviors

The exhibition on Raoul Wallenberg: ”One Person Can Make a Difference” has been traveling through Europe and is currently on display at the Museum of Political History of Russia in St. Petersburg. In addition, an exhibit on Dominican saviors during the Holocaust is currently on view at the Museum of the Jewish Heritage in NYC. [/?en/news/photo-slide-show-moscow.4450.htm]

Book Presentation in Tel-Aviv University

The book ”The Holy Land and the New World during the Ottoman Empire,” written by Margarita Wolman Krejner and Jaime Krejner, and published jointly by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and Casa Argentina in Jerusalem, was introduced on March 11th in Tel-Aviv University. The Hispanic Friends of the educational institution organized the event. Diplomats, leaders, and activists from the local Hispanic community were in attendance.