January 18, 2017

Raoul Wallenberg remembered in Israel

In the morning hours of 17 January 2017, a delegation of IRWF-Israel laid a wreath at the statue of Raoul Wallenberg in Tel Aviv.

Later that evening, Danny Rainer, head of the Israeli representation of the IRWF and Viviane Epstein, coordinator of the Houses of Life program, attended an evening seminar at the residence of the Swedish ambassador in Israel, HE Carl Magnus Nesser, which featured a screening of the short film “The Survivors in Budapest: Interviews with Persons saved by Raoul Wallenberg”. Following this premiere, the interviews were posted on the YouTube Channel of the Embassy

Ambassador Nesser welcomed the attendants and explained the educational importance of this new initiative which was supervised and coordinated by Annette Shary, from the embassy staff.

Eva Komloz, Shmuel Barzilay, Edit Vinkler and Chava Katz (Photo Credit: Eva Taylor)

Following his introduction, the film featuring interviews with Wallenberg’s survivors – Eva Komloz, Edit Vinkler, Chava Katz and Shmuel Barzilay, was screened, eliciting a moving reaction by all the attendants.
After the film, Professor Irwin Cotler, Founder and Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, long-time human right activist and former Minister of Justice of Canada, addressed the audience, underscoring the importance of remembering Wallenberg’s feats as “he embodies  and symbolizes universal lessons, with their contemporary international resonance and importance for our time”

Representing the IRWF, Danny Rainer conveyed a special greeting from the NGO’s chairman, Eduardo Eurnekian and its founder, Baruch Tenembaum, stressing the educational added value of this project.

He remarked: “The human mind is configured to recognize evil, which is a healthy mechanism, but it is less prone to recognize goodness. What we are witnessing this evening is precisely acknowledging the latter”.

In his closing remark, he said: “2016 was an interesting year as far as Raoul Wallenberg is concerned. The publication of excerpts of former KGB chief, Ivan Serov’s diaries, might give an indication of future official revelations. On the other hand, the Swedish tax authority resolution to declare Raoul as officially dead is merely administrative and should not deter us from continuing our quest to bring Raoul back home. Dr. Yoav Tenembaum, vicepresident of the IRWF coined the phrase: ‘A Hero without a grave’…let us hope that 2017 will be remembered as the year in which Raoul Wallenberg became a ‘Hero with a grave”.

The IRWF has also conducted interviews with people who survived thanks to Raoul Wallenberg.

Video interviews can be seen here