June 1, 2022

Remembering Raoul Wallenberg on the year of his 110 Birthday

The Audience at the event held by the Swedish Embassy

Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the war and ended-up disappearing in the Soviet Union, was born on August 4th, 1912.
The Embassy of Sweden in Israel held a commemorative event at the private residence of Ambassador Erik Ullenhag, who also acted as Master of Ceremonies.
Ms. Viviane Epstein and Mr. Danny Rainer represented the International Raoul Wallenberg at the event.

Viviane Epstein and Danny Rainer

Among the other invitees: Mr. Yair Lapid, Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the US Ambassador Mr. Thomas R. Nides, The Hungarian Ambassador Mr. Levente Benko, the Chairman of Yad Vashem, Mr. Danny Dayan and Holocaust survivor who was saved by Raoul Wallenberg, Ms. Hava Katz.

Ambassador Ullenhag opened the ceremony by thanking the governments of the US, Australia, Israel and Canada for having bestowed the honorary citizenship to Raoul Wallenberg and admitted that successive Swedish governments have failed to do enough for Wallenberg both in regards to his personal plight and in recognizing his historical importance, adding that lately, this issue is being properly addressed. Ambassador Ullenhag also acknowledged the existence of antisemitism in Sweden and the importance of fighting this regrettable phenomenon.

Ambassador Eric Ullenhag

Mr. Yair Lapid told the story of his father, who at the age of 13, was saved (together with his mother) by Raoul Wallenberg, stating that “hadn’t it been for Raoul, I wouldn’t stand here today, in front of you”.

Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid

Ambassador Benko stressed the monumental figure of Raoul Wallenberg, stating that as far as Hungary is concerned, he is one of its own heroes. He underlined that while Hungary was a victim of the Nazi occupation, many Hungarians, such as the Arrow Cross, opted to collaborate with the Nazis. Ambassador Benko underscored the support of his government to the State of Israel, as representative of the Jewish people.

Ambassador Levente Benko

Ambassador Nides underscored the heroic feats of the Swedish diplomat and asked himself what he would do now in the Ukrainian war.

US Ambassador Thomas Nides

In a recorded interview, Ms. Hava Katz relayed the moving story of how she was personally saved by Raoul Wallenberg.

The last distinguished speak, Prof. Irwin Cotler, was introduced by Ambassador Ullenhag as Member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.
In a televised address. The former Minister of Justice of Canada and current Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, focused on the personal tragedy surrounding Wallenberg’s disappearance, claiming that many evidences show that he was alive after 1947, the year the Soviets claimed he died.

In a letter addressed to Ambassador Ullenhag, Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian and Mr. Baruch Tenembaum, Chairman and Founder of the IRWF respectively, thanked the Swedish diplomat for having held the event and underscored the moral obligation to continue searching for answers into Wallenberg’s fate and divulging his courageous feats.