March 7, 2001

Mayor of Berlin and The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation

During a meeting that took place at the Berlin City Hall on 7 March, 2001, Mayor Eberhard Diepgen, received the founder of The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF), Baruch Tenembaum after the meeting held with the President of Germany, Johannes Rau

Early in the afternoon and in the magnificent Roten Rathaus near the Alexanderplatz area in the heart of East Berlin, Diepgen and Tenembaum talked about some of the IRWF educational projects related to the humanitarian measures that Monsignor Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (later known as Pope John XXIII) undertook as Apostolic Nuncio in Istanbul in 1944 and also about the plan of promoting the Germans who saved Jews and other persecuted people during the Holocaust.

Both initiatives were praised by the Mayor who referred to the necessity of promoting such examples in a globalized and, therefore, cosmopolitan world, where it is necessary to understand those who are different. He pointed out that the case of Berlin is, in this sense, paradigmatic because the city receives a great flow of immigrants from all over the world.

On behalf of the IRWF Tenembaum presented Mayor Diepgen with a unique artistic piece in the Argentina: the canvas ”Basilica of the Nazareth Annunciation” a 1966 picture by the Argentine artist Raúl Soldi that reproduces the fresco elaborated on the walls of the Nazareth Basilica in Holy Land, painted at the request of the interfaith organization Casa Argentina en Jerusalem.

Likewise, the IRWF was received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by members of the board of advisers of the Prime Minister Gerhard Schröder, who is one of the honorary members of the Foundation. The advisers manifested their satisfaction by the importance of the successes achieved and offered total collaboration from the German government to the IRWF mission.

The journey was completed not only with meetings held with academic and religious sectors but also with a visit to the Raoul Wallenberg School a secondary institution carrying the name of the Swedish diplomatic since 1993 and with which the IRWF is planning to make educational presentations during the next months.

Berlin also stands out for having a Raoul Wallenberg Avenue as well as a train station, which are examples to be promoted by the IRWF in other countries of the world as symbols of great educational power that commemorate the man who gave his life to help people in need.

In the year 2001 the IRWF has launched a campaign to request all the Ministries of Education in the world so that there is at least one school in each country carrying the name of the Hero of the Millenium. This campaign is totally supported by Nina Lagegren, Raoul Wallenberg’s sister.