June 24, 2013

Australian PM shares historical video announcement with the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation

Following an International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation proposal, Australian PM, Julia Gillard, made an special video announcement regarding the recently bestowal of the Australian Honorary Citizenship upon Raoul Wallenberg.

“I am deeply honored to share the news with the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation that here, in Australia, we have made Raoul Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of our country. This is the first time in Australia’s history that such an honor has been bestowed. We wanted to honor his selfless and tireless devotion to human life in the Holocaust. We in Australia are proud to have done this, for this reason: Even at the bleakest times in human history there have been individuals of boundless courage whose actions have rekindled our faith, restore our trust. In World War II Hungary and for the Jews of Budapest, Raoul Wallenberg was such a man.”, says Gillard.

Raoul Wallenberg is the Swedish diplomat that helped save the lives of thousands of persecuted by the Nazis in Hungary during the final days of World War II. He is missing since January 1945 after being arrested by the Soviet Army at the outskirts of Budapest, along with his chauffer, Vilmos Langfelder.

“We can not but say thanks to PM Gillard for having done such a fine double gesture; on one side, the decision to bestow upon Wallenberg a distinction without precedents in Australian history; on the other side, for having accepted our suggestion to make the announcement through a video statement that will allow millions around the world to know this wonderful news.”, said Eduardo Eurnekian, Chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

“As the last witnesses to the world war leave us”, states Gillard, “it is vital to keep alive the memory and example of individuals like Raoul Wallenberg. As the Prime Minister of Australia it was a special privilege for me to do just that. By an act of State to confer Honorary Citizenship on this great humanitarian of the 20th century, Raoul Wallenberg. And I can not imagine a more fitting individual upon whom to bestow it.”