Report of Activities 2008

Commemorative Events

Raoul Wallenberg Remembered, Buenos Aires. Holocaust survivors saved by Raoul Wallenberg placed flowers on the Wallenberg monument in Buenos Aires, marking 63 years of his disappearance. Ms. Gabriela Michetti, Vice-Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, was the keynote speaker at this event organized by the IRWF Argentine office.

”Escape” Book Presentation at the JCC Manhattan, New York. Professor Norman Poser, the author of the book ”Escape”, presented his family story of escape and rescue in an event co-organized by the IRWF, the JCC and the Consulate General of Denmark in New York. Prof. Poser’s family lived in Norway in 1940. By the end of the war, all but one were saved, unlike about a third of the Jews in Norway, thanks to the help of Consul of Denmark in Norway, Hans Henning Schroeder. Ambassador Torben A. Gettermann, General Consul of Denmark in New York, participated in the event. Read the Article

Cardinal Quarracino Remembered on the 10th Anniversary of his Passing, Buenos Aires. On February 28th, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Primate of Argentina and Archbishop of Buenos Aires, celebrated a Mass at the Metropolitan Catedral of Buenos Aires to commemorate the passing of Cardinal Antonio Quarracino ten years ago.

Book Presentation ”Holy Land and the New World during the Ottoman Empire,” Jerusalem. The IRWF and the Association of Friends of Tel Aviv University for Spanish-Speaking organized the presentation of the book ”Holy Land and the New World during the Ottoman Empire,” by Jaime and Margarita Krejner. The presentation took place in the Ramat Aviv campus of the University of Tel Aviv.

Screening of ”Legacy” at the Instituto Cervantes, New York. Legado, the film produced by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation based on the idea of Baruch Tenembaum, Founder of the IRWF, was presented at ”El Legado de Sefarad” film festival organized by the Instituto Cervantes. The film is part documentary and part fiction about the various waves of Jewish immigration to Argentina.

Pope Meets the IRWF and Religious Leaders, Washington. The interreligious gathering with Pope Benedict XVI entitled ”Peace Our Hope” was organized in Washington as a part of the 2008 Papal Visit to the United States. Rabbis, Priests and religious leaders from all religions gathered at this event to send a message of peace and understanding. As an organization dedicated to the dialogue between people of all faiths, the IRWF was among the guest participants.

”Saviors on the Screen” Film Festival at JCC Manhattan, New York. Together with the JCC of Manhattan, the IRWF presented three movies at this annual film event that we organize to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom HaShoah. Featured films include ”As seen through these eyes,” a documentary that focuses on art made by children during the Holocaust; ”The House on August Street,” a highly acclaimed Israeli documentary about the life of rescuer Beate Berger; and ”Fugitive Pieces,” a feature film that tells the story of Jakob Beer, an orphan child rescued from war thorn Poland by the Greek archaeologist Athos Roussos.

The IRWF Participated in the Roncalli Street Naming, Peekskill, NY. A moving ceremony where a street was named after Angelo Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) took place in Peekskill, NY, on May 6th, 2008. Angelo Roncalli saved Jews during the Holocaust by issuing baptismal papers and by personal protests. Rabbi Claudio Kupchik of the First Hebrew Congregation of Peekskill started the initiative of the street naming, while also having in mind a symbolic value of the street – it runs from the First Hebrew building to the Holy Spirit Parish. Read the Article

Robert Olschwanger’s Exhibit, Berlin. The opening of the Robert Olschwanger’s caricatures exhibition took place on May 5, 2008, at the Ev. Vaterunser Gemeinde, protestant Church of Berlin. The event was organized jointly by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Vaterunser Gemeinde Church under the helm of the curator, Pastor Annemarie Werner. Robert Olschwanger was a Jewish artist born in Germany. During the Holocaust he established himself in Peru, where he published a great number of remarkable caricatures against the Nazi regime in Peruvian press. Read the Article

”The Croatian Righteous” Exhibit is Inaugurated. On Tuesday, July 29, 2008, the Croatian Embassy in Argentina, the IRWF and the Subsecretary’s Office of Cultural Heritage of the Government of Buenos Aires inaugurated the exhibit ”The Croatian Righteous.” The exhibit presents the isolated cases of 39 people, part of a group of 106 men, women and teenagers, who showed solidarity toward Jews persecuted since the creation of the nazi-fascist satellite country, in April 1941, known as the Independent State of Croatia. Read the Article. On December 4, the exhibit was inaugurated as a part of the program of Buenos Aires book fair called ”Semana del libro.”

”Rescuers in the Holocaust” Film Festival, Buenos Aires. ”Rescuers in the Holocaust” was organized by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation Argentine office in cooperation with the Ricardo Rojas Cultural Center and the Subsecretary’s Office of Cultural Heritage of the Government of Buenos Aires. The films were presented on four consecutive Thursdays starting from October 16th. Read the Article

Honoring Mr. Khaled Abdul-Wahab, Washington. Mordecai Paldiel represented the IRWF at a ceremony honoring Khaled Abdul-Wahab for saving the lives of 24 Jews in Tunisia during the Holocaust. ”Abdul-Wahab’s case is unique, since he is an Arab rescuer, and no Arab rescuer has been honored yet.” said Paldiel. The ceremony took place at the Garden of the Righteous at Adas Israel Congregation. It is the first time the synagogue gave the honor to an Arab rescuer.

E-Books on the Holocaust, a New Project of the IRWF . The IRWF announced a new edition of e-book series that cover different aspects of Holocaust. So far, nine e-books are available in Spanish at the IRWF’s website. The edition is sponsored by the Werthein family from Argentina.

Documenting Wallenberg, an Archive of Testimonies. New additions have been made to the IRWF Archive of Testimonials of people rescued by Raoul Wallenberg. The transcript of the interviews are available online on our website at /?en/wallenberg/testimonie

”Wallenberg” Musical Presented in New York. The IRWF continued with the support of ”Wallenberg” an epic new musical with book and lyrics by the 2006 Kleban Award-winning team of Laurence Holzman & Felicia Needleman, and music by Benjamin Rosenbluth. The score of ”Wallenberg” is lush and exciting, and though the show depicts one of the darkest periods in modern history, its music and lyrics convey the same sense of hope and optimism that Wallenberg himself inspired.

IRWF’s Research Led to Yad Vashem Recognition of Stanislawa Slawinska. After studying the case conveyed to them by the IRWF, Yad Vashem decided to bestow posthumous title of Righteous Among the Nations to Stanislawa Slawinska during a ceremony held on November 11, 2008. This also meant a great recognition of the IRWF work in the field of rescuers research. Currently, the IRWF is researching the cases of rescuers from Spain and Turkey, which will be conveyed for Yad Vashem evaluation in early 2009. Read the Article

Educational Initiatives

Raoul Wallenberg at School, Buenos Aires. In 2008, the educational program developed by the IRWF with the aim to spread the values of solidarity, civic courage and interfaith dialogue, reached more then 8,000 students in the Buenos Aires area. ”Raoul Wallenberg at School” consists in school activities based on the subject of rescuers and the importance of acknowledging their deeds. The program is sponsored by the Buenos Aires Department of Education and the Werthein Family. Click here to see the annual balance of the educational activities in Argentina.

Yom HaShoah Educational Program, New York. Children and teens from the Hebrew Schools of the Congregation Habonim and the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (the SAJ), participated in the educational program organized by the IRWF. The program consisted in reenacting scenes from the life of Raoul Wallenberg.

”One Person can Make a Difference” Presented at the NYC Department of Education. The teacher-training program developed by the IRWF New York office was presented before Ms. Fran Macko, Educational Specialist for the NYC Department of Education. Ms. Macko expressed interest in having the program presented to the teachers at the NYC Department of Education headquarters, starting in early 2009. Click here to see the IRWF resources for teachers and students.


IRWF Founder Honored in Croatia, Zagreb. The Government of the Republic of Croatia honored Baruch Tenembaum, founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation with ”The Order of the Croatian Star with the Effigy of Katarina Zrinska” for special merits in promoting the moral values of society and for the development of relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Argentine Republic. The honor was presented by the President of the Republic of Croatia H.E. Stjepan Mesic in a Ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Zagreb on September 10, 2008. Read President Mesic’s speech

President of Albania Receives Accolade, New York. On Thursday, September 25, 2008, the IRWF participated at the event organized in honor of the visiting Albanian President, Bamir Topi. On the occasion Yad Vashem’s Certificate was presented to Mr. Arian Myrto in honor of his late father, Mr. Shyqyri Myrto. Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, from the IRWF, spoke on the significance of Albanian rescuers of Jews and presented President Topi with the IRWF Raoul Wallenberg Medal in appreciation of his joining the IRWF as an Honorary Member. Reed the Article

”Angelo Giusseppe Roncalli” Medal Presented to Marco Roncalli, Rome. The IRWF, Casa Argentina en Israel-Tierra Santa and the Zenit news agency presented the ”Angelo Giusseppe Roncalli” medal to Mr. Marco Roncalli in recognition to his lifelong academic and journalistic endeavors dedicated to serving the truth and understanding among faiths. See the invitation

Hungarian Holocaust Rescuer Received the Wallenberg Medal, Budapest. During WWII Mr. Steve Colman and his mother were sheltered at the house of Karolina Reszeli and her mother Zsuzsanna. After months of research, the IRWF decided to honor Karolina with the Raoul Wallenberg Women Rescuers Medal and The Esfira Maiman Women Rescuers Medal. The Ceremony took place on October 27, 2008 at the John Wesley Theological College in Budapest. The case of Karolina and Zsuzasanna Reszeli is conveyed to Yad Vashem and is currently being evaluated by their commission. Read the Article

The Esfira Maiman Women Rescuers Medal was Presented to the Slawinski Family, Jerusalem. The IRWF presented The Raoul Wallenberg Esfira Maiman Women Rescuers Medal to the family of Stanislawa Slawinska who rescued Esfira Maiman and several other Jews sheltering them at her home in Poland. The ceremony took place at the private residence of HE Ms. Agnieszka Magdziak – Miszewska, Ambassador of Poland in Israel. The event came as a fruition of the investigation in the Maiman – Slawinska case that the Foundation carried on for couple of months after being contacted by Ms. Maiman’s daughter. Esfira Maiman, Roman Slawinski Stanislawa’s nephew, his son and grandson, as well as many distinguished guests were in attendance. Read the Article and browse the website created by the IRWF, dedicated to the story of Stanislawa Slawinska and Esfira Maiman.