June 22, 2004

Hungarian heroes remembered

On June 22, 2004, the Embassy of Hungary to Buenos Aires was the place in which the Hungarian heroes of the Second World War, saviors of people persecuted by Nazism, were remembered

Budapest was Raoul Wallenberg’s theater of operations, a special Swedish envoy sent to save the lives of thousands of Jews Condemned to death by the Third Reich and his local allies. After the successful rescue of about one hundred people, Wallenberg disappeared on January 17, 1945, arrested by the Red Army at the doors of the Magyar capital.

There were many other distinguished diplomats who, along with Wallenberg, put their lives at risk for the neighbor; Charles Lutz, Giorgio Perlasca, Ángel Sanz-Briz, Apostolic Nuncio Angelo Rota and many others.

All of them, as well as several hundreds Hungarian citizens, were remembered in the moving ceremony presided by Ambassador Ferenc Szönyi who stressed the fundamental role that a person can play, even in the most dire circumstances, in the development of history. The ambassador also pointed out the educational work of the Wallenberg Foundation at schools and universities.

Volunteer Rodrigo Rendo spoke on behalf of the IRWF, giving an emotional speech that moved the audience, specially the many survivors of the Holocaust therein present: Jack Fuchs, Charles Papiernik, Diana Wang, Tomas Kertesz, Laszlo Ladanyi and Sozia Klawir.

The writer Peter Kiss read the poem ”Forced March”, by Radnoti Miklós, poet, former prisoner of different labor camps during the Holocaust. Miklós had been born in Budapest in 1909 and was executed by the Nazis in Absa, Gyor County, on November 9, 1944.

The evening was amused by the interpretation of the piece ”Alegro barbaro” by Béla Bártok.

To conclude, the Wallenberg Foundation, as usual, presented the Embassy of Hungary with the sculpture ”Homage to Raoul Wallenberg”. The piece was given to Ambassador Szönyi, by the sculptress, the prestigious artist Norma D’Ippolito.

Among the people present it is worth mentioning: Ambassadors Roberto Nigido, Italy; Antonio de Almeida Ribeiro, Portugal; Alexandru Micula, Rumania; Slawomir Ratajsky, Poland; Rolf Schumacher, Germany; Vatican Representative, Monsignor Nicola Girasoli; rabbis Abraham Skorka and Simón Moguilevsky; AMIA and DAIA representatives and Esteban Takács, President of the Hungarian Entities Federation in the Argentine Republic.