BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — In the 70th anniversary year of his disappearance in Russia, Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, was honored at Sweden’s embassy in Buenos Aires.
Wednesday’s tribute organized by Argentina’s Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the Swedish Embassy in Argentina was led by Tomas Kertesz, a survivor of the Budapest ghetto who met with Wallenberg in his effort to save Jews; the Swedish ambassador to Argentina, Gufran Al-Nadaf; and the Jewish-Argentine writer Marcos Aguinis.
Kertesz said Wallenberg in 1944 invented special Swedish passports as safe conduct for the Jews of Budapest.
“Wallenberg hired 350 Jews in the embassy and I worked there with him,” Kertesz said. “There he distributed passports to the Jews. Every member of my family member received one.”
Wallenberg, however, was unable to save Kertesz’ parents.
Al-Nadaf warned about the current situation in Europe.
“Today we see a world where anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Gypsyism are growing, especially in Europe,” the Swedish envoy said. “Today more than ever we need people and diplomats such as Raoul Wallenberg and his impressive acts.”