December 10, 2012

The “2012 Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Medals” were presented in Tel Aviv

The prestigious award was bestowed, before a packed audience, to Prof. Haim Avni, Prof. Dina Porat, Mr. Max Grunberg and the City of Eilat.

The event took place at the Cymbalista Auditorium, Tel Aviv University, on December 6th., 2012.

Amongst the attendants, a significant number of Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps of Australia, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, Denmark, Canada, the European Union, France, Greece and Russia, as well as a group of academicians from both the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University.

Mr. Danny Rainer, the Executive Director of the Jerusalem office of the IRWF acted as master of ceremonies.

The keynote speakers, the Ambassador of Sweden in Israel, H.E. Ms. Elinor Hammarksjold and Dr. Yoav Tenembaum, Vice-President of the IRWF, both greeted the laureates and the audience and stressed the symbolism of the event, when the world marks the 100th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, and the relevance of his legacy even today.

Mr. Rainer presented each of the medal recipients and read the criteria of the IRWF Award Committee in selecting the laureates.

Each of the medals recipients gave an acceptance speech, stressing the legacy of Raoul Wallenberg.

Prof. Avni spoke of the importance of recognizing the saviors and of making sure not to wrongly recognize those, like Franco, tried to appear as saviors.

Prof. Porat emphasized the singularity of Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy, as well as her ground-breaking research about another savior, Monsignor Angelo Giussepe Roncalli (later known as Pope John XXIII), who was postulated by the IRWF as Righteous among the Nations for his life-saving activities during WWII.

Max Grunberg spoke of his efforts to get the Interpol issue a yellow notice regarding Raoul Wallenberg.

The city of Eilat was represented by its Mayor, Mr. Meir Halevy and by Jacky Pri-Gal, former consul of Sweden, who co-founded the city’s Holocaust Memorial – Yad b’Midbar. Both of them highlighted the importance of spreading Wallenberg’s legacy amongst the people of their city.

The world-famous singer, Shuly Natan, interpreted three songs, including a popular Swedish tune and she closed the event with “Jerusalem of Gold”, accompanied by the audience.