September 27, 2005

Ceremony Honoring Mexican Diplomat Gilberto Bosques

On September 27, in a ceremony organized by the Consulate General of Mexico and the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Diplomats, leaders of the Jewish Community, members of the press and other distinguished guests gathered to honor the memory of Mexican diplomat Gilberto Bosques.

Gilberto Bosques was stationed in Marseille during World War II and during that time he granted thousand of visas to people facing Nazi persecution.

The guests had the opportunity to meet Jacqueline and Doris Weitz, Daughters of Herman Wietz who was granted a visa by Bosques, effectively saving his life. They spoke briefly, expressing their gratitude to the man who saved their father, who made new life possible.

The host, Consul General Arturo Sarukhan spoke about the importance and timeliness of the ceremony in an age where issues concerning genocide and asylum are ever-present. He pointed out the responsibility of states to grant asylum to those who seek it, and the fact that sovereignty ends when a state fails to protect its citizens.

The Consul then unveiled a painting donated by Mexican painter Fernando Lucero commemorating the spirit of Gilberto Bosques, and announced that it would hang in the newly renamed ”Gilberto Bosques Auditorium” of the Mexican Consulate of New York.

Following Consul General Sarukhan’s words, Abigail Tenembaum, Vice President of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, spoke about the Foundation seeking to honor saviors like Gilberto Bosques. The Wallenberg Foundation, with branches in New York, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem and Caracas, is a non-profit organization with the aim of rendering homage, promoting the message and remembering the actions of all the heroes of the holocaust, who like Raoul Wallenberg, risked their lives to save persecuted people during World War II.

Ms. Tenembaum shared with the guests some remarks sent by Mr. Baruch Tenembaum, Founder of the Wallenberg Foundation, who could not attend the event since he had to travel to Argentina where he is being awarded as Distinguished Citizen by the Governor of the Province of Santa Fe. Mr. Tenembaum wrote about the importance of recognizing the significance of the work of the Latin American rescuers during World War II, and congratulated the Mexican government for recognizing the importance of rendering Homage to men like Gilberto Bosques. The efforts of many Latin American figures whose actions saved lives during the holocaust are little known, and events such as this help highlight the important work done by Latin Americans.

Another letter was sent by from the grandson of Gilberto Bosques, Gilberto Bosques Tistler, who thanked the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Mexican Consulate for their work honoring not only his grandfather, but the many other saviors of the holocaust.

Dear friends:

Today I received by mail an invitation to commemorate Ambassador Gilberto Bosques actions during WWII as Consul General of Mexico in Vichy and Marseille, France.

Regretfully, it is not possible for me to attend this event at this time.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Consulate General of Mexico in New York for taking the time to honnor my grandfather.

No doubt, it is of grate necessity today, to spread the word of the actions of all-time courageous people that with integrity and brave hearts confronted the necessary challenges against tyranny. And I am not speaking about my grand father’s actions but about those of so many brave heroes of the past as could be a Raoul Wallenberg, a Carl Lutz, a Winston Churchil, a George S. Patton, a Simon Wiesenthal, just to mention a few.

Thanking you for your kind attention I remain,


Gilberto Bosques Tistler