LOS ANGELES (Oct. 30)
A distinguished group of international personalities led by Simon Wiesenthal, will convene formal hearings in Stockholm, Sweden Jan. 15-17 to hear testimony as to the fate of the last hero of the Holocaust, Raoul Wallenberg, it was announced by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, assistant to the Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles, upon his return from consultations with the Wallenberg family in Stockholm.
The hearings will be coordinated with the International Sakharov Committee based in Copenhagen. The dates of the hearings coincide with the 36th anniversary of Wallenberg’s disappearance in Budapest, Hungary.
Wallenberg, a Swedish Gentile, risked his life to save more than 30,000 Jews in Budapest during the closing months of World War II. He was kidnapped and incarcerated by the Soviets in 1945. The Russians at first denied any knowledge of Wallenberg. Later, they changed their story to claim that he died in prison in 1947. However, there have been repeated reports from eye witnesses that Wallenberg was alive many years after that date.
“It is hoped that this hearing will focus world opinion to the plight of this great humanitarian and encourage Soviet cooperation, ” Cooper explained. “In view of the recent spate of neo-Nazi activity in Europe and elsewhere, the deeds and legacy of Raoul Wallenberg have never been more relevant for humanity than they are in 1980. Many young people in France, Italy, Belgium, England, South America and the United States know nothing of that tragic era and are increasingly being exposed to the haters of this generation.”
Cooper also announced that the Wallenberg family will attend the international conference in Madrid, which is to review compliance with the Helsinki Accords, to press for the inclusion of Rooul’s fate in that international forum.