Raoul Wallenberg centennial
marked in Moscow and all over the world
The representatives of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation went to Moscow on 28 May to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands Jews during Second World War in Budapest to be then arrested and killed in the Soviet jails.
During the conference entitled "Raoul Wallenberg - the humanitarian of the 20th century", "100,000 euros were offered to any person or institution that provides credible information leading to scientific identification and repatriation of Raoul Wallenberg back home".
At the same time the Russian authorities were urged to open the KGB archives in order to shed light on the abduction and killing of Raoul Wallenberg and his driver Vilmos Langfelder who disappeared on 17 February 1945 and weren't seen anymore.
The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation also criticized Sweden for failing to present the Soviet with a clear demand to know the truth. Some Swedish businessmen including cousins of Raoul Wallenberg provided the Nazis with raw materials useful for their war effort.
How Heads of States remember Wallenberg's rescue deeds
The life and work of Raoul Wallenberg is being remembered all over the world. Recently the President of the Australian Parliament Michel Dreyfus has officially honoured the brave diplomat by remembering the story of Ervin Forrester, a Holocaust survivor now living in Australia whom he contributed rescuing.
"Ervin’s story is one of incredible personal bravery", Mr. Dreyfus recalled. "As a young Hungarian boy he was forced by the Nazis into the Working Army in 1944. He escaped and fled to Budapest where he was sheltered by the Red Cross. But Budapest was not an easy place in which to hide, and Ervin was recaptured and sentenced to death for his desertion. He told the Nazis he was a Swedish citizen. The authorities contacted the Swedish embassy and Raoul Wallenberg came to him in his prison cell and said “I’m going to save your life”. He issued Ervin with a Swedish passport and protection of the Swedish nation".
This year's centennial was marked also by the President of the United States Barack Obama in a televised message.
- Raoul Wallenberg,
- Raoul Wallenberg Foundation,
- Barack Obama
4 July 2012
whoever saves a life saves the entire world
In Yad Vashem's Memorial, in Jerusalem, the Garden of the Righteous remembers those who tried to rescue the Jews in the Holocaust: those who hidd them, helped them expatriate with forged documents, nourished them or gave them a job; those who, seeing them suffer, helped them somehow instead of remaining indifferent.In Yerevan's Wall of Remembrance the memorial stones remember the rescuers of Armenians during the genocide of 1915, those who tried to stop the massacre, refused to obey orders, sheltered children, reported the extermination that was occurring beneath their hopeless eyes to the world's public opinion.
In 1994 in Rwanda, some Tutsies who were hunted by the interahamwe militias were protected by neighbours, friends - some times strangers, too - belonginf to the Hutu ethnic group, who refused participating in the "man hunt" with machetes that had been planned by other Hutus to exterminate the country's Tutsi minority.
While ethnic cleansing was ravaging Bosnia leading to the murder of thousands innocent victims some people trying to escape the massacre were helped in the same way by neighbours, school mates, friends, or strangers, who were members of other ethnic groups.
Still todate, in many places in the world, there are such rescuers who risk and sometimes lose their lives in the attempt of helping the victims, and become victims themselves. Other times they lose their jobs, wellbeing, social status or they are imprisoned, tortured, cast out. At any rate, even before starting their endeavours, they know they run a serious risk, but they prefer doing so rather than bearing the weigh of remorse for remaining indifferent for the rest of their lives. Everytime by their action they "save the entire world", as stands in the Talmud.