Report of Activities 2004

Homage to Peter Landelius

The Swedish ambassador to Argentina between 1997 and 2001, Peter Landelius, was honoured by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) and by the General Economic Confederation (CGE in Spanish). The CGE president, Ricardo Faerman, distinguished Landelius ”for his exemplary conduct, his condition of solidarity person and his support to the NGO’s”. 150 people assisted to the event, among them Marcos Aguinis and Carlos Escudé, both IRWF members.

Wallenberg was remembered on a new anniversary of his disappearance

The 59th anniversary of the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg, arrested by the Soviet army in 1945, took place on 17 January 2004. His actions were remembered in Hungary, United States, Australia and Argentina. In Buenos Aires, Thomas Kertesz and Laszlo Ladanyi, saved by Raoul Wallenberg in 1944, placed a bouquet next to the monument commemorating the Swedish diplomat.

Raoul Wallenberg at school

We have been implementing the educational program ”Wallenberg at School” in South America for the past three years. The initiative has the aim of preserving individual freedoms by taking as role models the actions of solidarity of thousands of saviors during the World War II. After the success obtained in South America, we are now starting to implement the program in the United States and other countries.

Campaign to pay homage to Peruvian saviors

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has launched an international campaign to search for Peruvian saviors in order to pay homage to them. ”The Peruvian heroes deserve the same international acknowledgement than the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, Nuncio Angelo Roncalli and the Portuguese Aristides de Sousa Mendes, among many other distinguished per! sonalities of world history”, mentioned Mr. Baruch Tenembaum, founder of the IRWF.

Meeting in Jerusalem with Minister saved by Wallenberg

Louise von Dardel, Raoul Wallenberg’s niece , met in Jerusalem with Yosef (Tomy) Lapid, Minister of Justice of Israel and Holocaust survivor saved by Raoul Wallenberg in 1944. The meeting took place at the Minister’s office thanks to the intervention of the IRWF.

Tribute paid to Spanish saviors

Tribute was paid to eight Spanish diplomats who saved refugees during the Holocaust, in a ceremony organized by the Spanish Embassy in Argentina and the IRWF. The ceremony took place in the Spanish delegation headquarters on March 30th., 2004.

”The Reconciliation”: the Jewish- Catholic dialogue

Clarin, the newspaper with the largest circulation in Latin America, gave an outstanding coverage of this issue. The relationship between Catholics and Jews has been marked by prejudices and distrust for centuries. Argentina has become an example of fraternity between religions.

”Wallenberg”, the musical

The story of Raoul Wallenberg, the hero of the World War II, has been adapted for the stage as a musical written by Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman, directed by Annette Jolles. Music in charge of Benjamin Rosenbluth.

Homage paid to a Polish savior on the International Women’s Day

The International Women´s Day was celebrated on March 8th. On that very day and celebrating her birthday, a tribute was paid to Juana Dylag, the savior of a Jewish family living in Warsaw when it was occupied by the Nazis, in the presence of the Polish Ambassador in Argentina, Slawomir Ratajski.

Sousa Mendes postage stamp issued in Israel

A new postage stamp issued by the Wallenberg Foundation has been dedicated to the figure of the Portuguese savior Aristides de Sousa Mendes. The stamp, issued in Israel, is added to the other issues boosted by the Foundation like the collection dedicated to the Belgian saviors, John XIII, and others.

Picture at an exhibition

An exhibition dedicated to Raoul Wallenberg and sponsored by the IRWF opened on March 31st., in Budapest. The exhibition was organized by the Raoul Wallenberg Association (RWA) of Hungary in the Palace of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Andras Sipos, the President of the RWA, and Andras Heiszler, the President of the Jewish-Hungarian Communal Alliance, broke the band in the exhibition. Among the people attending the ceremony there were Bengt Ludborg and Judit Varnal Shorer, the Sweden and the Israel Ambassadors respectively. The exhibition included a portrait of Wallenberg painted by the artist Peter Malkin, the Mossad agent who captured the war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1990.

Portuguese savior remembered in New York

On the 50 anniversary of Aristides de Sousa Mendes´death, Portuguese General Consul to Bordeaux in 1940 and savior of thousands of persecuted by Nazism, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation presented the ambassador Gonçalo Santa Clara Gomes, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, with a portrait by the artist Peter Malkin.

International seminar ”Diplomacy and the Holocaust”

The international seminar ”Diplomacy and the Holocaust” took place with the presence of the French and Polish Ambassadors to Argentina, Francis Lott and Slawomir Ratajski, respectively, organized by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Department of Public Law I of the University of Buenos Aires.

Wallenberg school inaugurated in Ecuador

Ecuador became one of the countries with schools named after Raoul Wallenberg. The promoter of this initiative is Patricia Vecilla Mackliff.

Sousa Mendes Award to Father Bernard Jacques Riviere

The Wallenberg Foundation has announced the 2004 Sousa Mendes award which will be given to Father Bernard Jacques Riviere on June 17, the date Sousa Mendes started issuing the visas that finally saved almost 30,000 people. Father Riviere has issued a number of programs on the radio of Bordeaux dedicated to the deeds of the Portuguese savior of the Holocaust, Aristides de Sousa Mendes. Inspired by the articles about Sousa Mendes that Father Riviere published in the French newspaper Le Monde, the journalist Jose Alain Fralon wrote the book ”Le Juste de Bordeaux” already translated into several languages. Father Riviere is one of the founders of the National Committee to honor Sousa Mendes in France and member of the Sousa Mendes Foundation of Portugal. The name of the second person to be awarded will be revealed on June 17.

Wallenberg educational center inaugurated in Argentina

The First ”Raoul Wallenberg” Community and Educational Center in Argentina was inaugurated on May 14. The ceremony took place in 4650 Juan B. Justo, La Juanita, Km 27.7 of route 3, in the city of Gregorio Laferrere, La Matanza county, Buenos Aires province.

Tribute to murdered diplomats

On May 13 the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation paid tribute to the UN diplomats and officials murdered in 2003. The ceremony took place at the Embassy of Chile in Buenos Aires and the host was the head of the diplomatic legation, Ambassador Juan Gabriel Valdés.

Wallenberg’s sister visited the United States

Nina Lagergren, Raoul Wallenberg’s sister and Honorary Member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, traveled to Minneapolis, USA. Mrs. Lagergren visited the Israel Temple where she spoke about the life and deeds of the ”Hero without a Grave”, savior of tens of thousands of persecuted in Hungary, during the Nazi occupation. Mrs. Lagergren’s visit was sponsored by the Raoul Wallenberg Living Memorial, an initiative of the Swedish Institute of the United States. The inauguration of the Raoul Wallenberg Educational Center in Argentina was announced during the ceremony.

The Wallenberg Foundation changes on the Net

The IRWF announces the launch of its new website. Among the changes it is worth mentioning a re-design following the most modern visual and web surfing standards; a powerful search engine; unique characteristics of accessibility that follow WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative of the Word Wide Web Consortium) international rules and U.S. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act that guarantee the use of the site by visually impaired people with the same level as all users. New ways of surfing and linking of contents. The site is presented in complete English and Spanish versions with 700 pages organized in 90 sections each language.

Tribute to Aristides de Sousa Mendes. International ceremonies

In the year of the 50 anniversary of Aristides de Sousa Mendes’ death (1885-1954), the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Angelo Roncalli Committee organized a great number of celebrations around the world. Tens of religious, cultural and educational activities took place in the five continents. Among the many countries that joined the remembrance are France, the United States, the Vatican, China and Israel.

Hungarian heroes remembered

Hungarian heroes of the World War II, saviors of people persecuted by Nazism, were remembered at the Hungarian Embassy to Buenos Aries.

Revelations about the policeman in process of beatification who saved thousands of jews

The creator of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has revealed details about Giovanni Palatucci’s life, an Italian policeman who gave his life to save about five thousand Jews during the World War II, at present in process of beatification.

Looking for people rescued by Thomas Preston

The FIRW has launched an international campaign to search for people saved by Preston. In 1940, Thomas Preston, the British Consul in Kovno, Lithuania, issued 400 illegal certificates to persecuted Jews, allowing them to travel to Palestine, through Istanbul. Thanks to this action of solidarity and courage, hundreds of people saved their lives, many of them crossing the Baltic Sea to find safe refuge in Sweden.

Cardinal Walter Kasper inaugurates kindergarten

On Saturday, July 10, 2004, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Relations with the Jews, inaugurated the ”Monsignor Angelo Roncalli” Kindergarten at the Raoul Wallenberg Community Center of the Movement of Unemployed Workers of La Matanza (MTDLM), in Gregorio de Laferrere, province of Buenos Aires.

Cardinal Kasper receives accolade

On Saturday, July 10, 2004, at the Latin-American Rabbinical Seminary of Buenos Aires, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Angelo Roncalli Committee presented to H. E. Cardinal Walter Kasper the ”Memorial Mural Award”, for his lifetime dedication to the causes of understanding and reconciliation between Jews and Catholics.

”LEGACY” in Prague

The documentary film ”Legado”, produced by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, directed by Vivian Imar and Marcelo Trotta, following an idea by Baruch Tenembaum, was presented at the ”9 Gates” film festival in Praga, Czech Republic. Legado was screened on June 21st before a selected audience of diplomatic officials, film-makers, dramatists and historians from several countries. Directors Imar and Trotta attended the festival and presented the film. They answered questions from the audience and were warmly praised after the screening of the documentary.

Looking for Chinese saviors

Continuing with its work of searching for people who have rescued those persecuted by the Nazi regime during the 1933-1945 period, the Wallenberg Foundation launches a campaign that will focuse on the recollection and classification of information of men and women of Chinese nationality who have helped Jews and other persecuted anywhere in the world.

Worldwide commemorations on Raoul Wallenberg’s birthday

On August 4, 2004, with the world coordination of the Raoul Wallenberg International Foundation, numerous commemorative ceremonies to honor the ”Hero without a Grave”, savior of thousands of persecuted and condemned to death by Nazism, took place on the 92nd anniversary of his birth. New York, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile and Jerusalem were the main stages.

Historical Event

In a ceremony of deep inter-religious content on September 26th 2004, a commemorative monument to the victims of the Holocaust was inaugurated in the Vaterunser church in Berlin.

New Wallenberg school in Budapest

An educational institue that was recently renovated at a cost of 7,5 millon dollars was named ”Vocational and Grammar School Raoul Wallenberg.” Michael Wernstedt, grandson of Raoul Wallenberg’s sister, Nina Lagergen, attended the inaguration, together with the Mayor of the city and IRWF member, Gabor Demszky; the Swedish Embassador, Bengt Lundbog; and the leaders of the Wallenberg Association of Hungary, Jozsef Sebes, Bela Huff and Ferenc Orosz.

Max Schmeling turned 99

During his visit to Germany, on the occasion of the inaguration of the Memorial Mural for the Victims of the Holocaust, Baruch Tenembaum made a toast to the 99th birthday of the former boxing champion Max Schmeling. In 2003 Schmeling received the Raoul Wallenberg medal in recognition of his actions to rescue two Jewish brothers during the ”Kristallnacht”, in 1938.

”Wallenberg at school” Program

Fourteen presentations in just thirty days took place at different high level schools of the city of Buenos Aires since the beginning of a new stage of the educational program ”Wallenberg at School”. The presentations, conducted by specialized volunteers, aim at preserving the individual freedoms and the promotion of the values of solidarity and civic courage taking as role models the actions of solidarity carried out by thousands of saviors during the Holocaust.

2004 Participating Schools:

  • 3/11: ”Jean Mermoz” French-Argentine Lyceum
  • 7/10: ”Raggio” Technical School ; T.I.O. 5º
  • 5/10: ”Raggio” Technical School ; T.C.P. 5ºB
  • 30/9: ”Raggio” Technical School ; T.C.P. 5ºA
  • 29/9: ”Reino de Suecia” (Sweden Kingdom) Commercial School; 5º1
  • 28/9: ”Derqui” Nº 9 Lyceum ; 4º 3 T.M.
  • 28/9: ”Raggio” Technical School ; Electromechanic 5º
  • 24/9: ”Raggio” Technical School ; T.I.G. 5º
  • 22/9: ”Reino de Suecia” (Sweden Kingdom) Commercial School; 4º1
  • 17/9: ”Derqui” Nº9 Lyceum ; 4º 2 T.M. y 4º 3 T. M.
  • 16/9: ”Raggio” Technical School ; T.D. y P.I. 5º
  • 15/9: ”Reino de Suecia” (Sweden Kingdom) Commercial School; 4º2
  • 14/9: ”Derqui” Nº 9 Lyceum ; 4º 1 T.M.
  • 14/9: ”Raggio” Technical School; Constructions 5ºB
  • 03/9: ”Nuevo Horizonte” (New Horizon) Educational Center; 3º y 4º.

Dissertations in charge of Jean Pierre Bendahan, Gustavo Jalife, Gabriela Pauer, Horacio Menestrina, Rodrigo Rendo, Nicholas Toser and Francisco Boggiano.

Raoul Wallenberg classroom was inaugurated in Argentina

In a moving ceremony carried out on Friday October 22, a kindergarten classroom of the Minister Zarini School at the city of La Plata, Capital of the Province of Buenos Aires, was named after Raoul Wallenberg. The ceremony was organized by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) and the Argentine General Economic Confederation (CGE), presided by Mr. Ricardo Faerman.

The documentary Legacy opens in Buenos Aires

On October 14th the commercial opening of the documentary film produced by the Wallenberg Foundation took place in the Hoyts cinema of the Abasto Shopping Mall of Buenos Aires. For this special date, the exclusive guests enjoyed two showtimes.

Legacy during 2004:

Festivals: International Festival of Biarritz – Biarritz, France / Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano – La Habana, CUBA / Festival de Málaga – Málaga, España / Latin Festival of Trieste, Italy / Latino Film Festival of the San Francisco Bay Area – San Francisco, USA / 9 Gates Festival – Prague – Czech Republic / Miami Jewish Film Festival – Miami, USA / Spring Festival – National Center for Jewish Film of the Brandeis University / Festival Cinematográfico Internacional de Uruguay – Montevideo, Uruguay / Festival de Cinema Judaico – Sao Paulo, Brasil / Festival Internacional de Cine Judío en la Argentina – Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Other Projections: Bnei Jeshurum Synagogue, New York, USA / Moisés Ville, Prov. de Santa Fe / Villa Clara, Entre Ríos, Argentina / Domínguez, Entre Ríos, Argentina / Villaguay, Entre Ríos, Argentina / Menorah Temple, Miami, USA / First Hebrew Congregation of Peekskill, New York, USA.

Wallenberg Day in New York

October 5th has been established in New York State as the Raoul Wallenberg Day. It was october 5th 1981 when the ”Hero without a Grave” was named honorary citizen of the United States. Wallenberg disappeared on January 17th 1945 after being stopped by the Soviet army in Budapest, city in which he saved tens of thousands persecuted by nazism, most of tehm jews.

Wallenberg Foundation receives accolade

At a ceremony carried out on 25 November 2004 at the Olivos Yacht Club in Buenos Aires, the Argentine Asociación of Private Education (AAPE) distinguished the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation with the ”2004 Excellence” award due to the services brought to the community through its educational programme ”Wallenberg at school”.

Zenit News Agency. Information service on Judeo-Christian Dialogue

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation announced the creation of a news service on Judeo-Christian dialogue. The news bulletin will be produced in collaboration with ZENIT news agency and will be published initially in Spanish and English.

Raoul Wallenberg, Honorary Citizen of San Francisco

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors conferred honorary citizenship on Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian-born Jews during World War II. ”Raoul Wallenberg’s example sets a standard of humanitarianism that deserves recognition in generation after generation,” said Rep. Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo), who was saved by Wallenberg. ”With this rarely granted honorary citizenship, the City of San Francisco declares that we should all remember and emulate Wallenberg’s legacy of courage, self-sacrifice and compassion.”

Imminent launching of world-wide campaign

January 17th. 2005 marks the 60th anniversary of the disappearance of the ”Hero without a grave” Raoul Wallenberg, captured by the Soviet Army. Since then, his fate remains unknown. The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation announces the imminent launching of the world-wide campaign to discover the final destiny of the Swedish diplomat, savior of lives during the Holocaust: ”100,000 names for the 100,000 lives saved by Raoul Wallenberg”. All the collected signatures will be presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations to urge the solution of one of the most controversial cases in the history of humankind.

Brazilian savior honored

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of brazilian diplomat Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation honored him at the Consulate General of Brazil on December 6th 2004. The ceremony included the presentation of Fabio Koifman’s book on Souza Dantas, ”Quixote nas Trevas” (Quixote in the Darkness). The presentation of the ceremony was in charge of Gustavo Jalife, IRWF Executive Director whereas Koifman and Ambassador Gomes dos Santos delivered speeches before an enthusiastic attendance which included diplomatic delegations of the Holy See, Sweden, Argentina, Israel, Switzerland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Mexico, Turkish, Czech Republic, China, El Salvador and Angola.

Founder of the IRWF receives accolade

The radio show ”Música y Vida de Israel” (Music and Life of Israel) presented to Baruch Tenembaum the ”Award to Merit 2004” for his work at the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. The award was presented by the show’s host, Daniel Olkenitzky, at the AMIA (Main Jewish Community Center of Argentina) building in Buenos Aires. Tenembaum, in turn, dedicated the award to Father Horacio Moreno, President of the IRWF, and to writer Uki Goñi, author of the book ”The Real Odessa”.

Wallenberg Foundation receives donation of historical documents

The archives of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation received a series of important documents, part of late Carl Levine’s personal collection, after his wife’s death. Mr. Levine was very active in spreading Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy. In 1997 the United States Postal Service issued a Raoul Wallenberg Stamp following his initiative. Original letters, as well as material from the Second day issuance ceremony were donated to the IRWF. The Foundation will add the documents to its own collection of stamps issued in Argentina, Sweden and Israel, among other countries.