BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina’s Parliament held a public national event to pay tribute to the 5,000 Argentine citizens who voluntary fought in World War II against the Nazis.
The 17 remaining survivors of the original 5,000 volunteers received the tribute and a certificate during last week’s ceremony in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Parliament.
“Their role was so important that the Argentine-British squadron was created. They fought for freedom and democracy against Nazi totalitarianism and the concentration camps,” said Juan Hunter, former president of the Argentine-British Community Council.
The first recognition in 73 years of the Argentine citizens who flew to Europe to fight against the Nazis was pushed by lawmakers from the Civic Coalition, a party which is part of the Cambiemos coalition that governs the country.
The event also was attended by the head of the lower house of the Parliament, Emilio Monzó, and the chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations commission, Cornelia Schmidt Liermann
“They went voluntarily and many lost their lives to defend the freedom of nations. It fills me with pride and emotion. The Argentine State is late in recognizing them. I apologize for that. I am the daughter of a father who came to the country with WWII,” said Schmidt Liermann
The Argentine ex-combatants who received recognition were Eduardo Brook, Cynthia Margarita Cheesman, Stanley Rowland Coggan, Alan Ricardo Dickson, Peter Harrison, Ana Elisabeth Hume, Ian Leslie Pond Mac Donald, Colin Andrew Mc Callum, Carlos Alan Nixon, Ronald David Scott, John Campbell Shakespear, Ricardo José Moreno, Luis Cowes Pryor, María Chapman, Irma Ways, Antonio Zabrowsky, and Ricardo Arendatz.
Amb. Mark Kent of the United Kingdom, Amb. Peter Maddens of Belgium, Amb. Noel Campbell of Australia, and representatives from Canada, Israel, Russia, Serbia and the European Union were present for the event in Buenos Aires.
The event included a military tribute by the Band of the Artillery Regiment of the Ituzaingó military base.