January 18, 2006

Raoul Wallenberg remembered


A ceremony was held in Argentina for the 61st anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg’s disappearance.

Tuesday’s ceremony, organized by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation in the plaza that bears Wallenberg’s name in Buenos Aires, honored the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II.

The principal speaker was Toti Flores, a leader of the Piqueteros, protest groups representing the poor and unemployed hit hard by Argentina’s 2001-2002 economic crisis. Flores said Wallenberg’s principles were honored in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Matanza, one of the poorest areas in Argentina.

”We named our community center with its bakery, employment service and child-care facilities after Wallenberg because we believe the courage he showed in savings Jews from the worst genocide known to mankind is an example to all of us,” said Flores, who compared Wallenberg’s disappearance after World War II to the thousands of Argentines who disappeared during the military dictatorship. At the same hour as the Buenos Aires tribute, the Wallenberg Foundation organized a rally at a Budapest train station where a memorial plaque to Wallenberg was unveiled. Other memorial services were held around the world.