Raoul Wallenberg 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has increased it financial reward
for information leading to the whereabouts of Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued
thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, and his chauffeur, Vilmos
Speaking from Tel Aviv via telephone with The Jerusalem Post
on Sunday, Danny Rainer, the head of the Jerusalem office of the foundation,
said it increased its reward from 100,000 euros (about $123,000) to $500,000
because anonymous donors contributed new funds. The foundation announced the
100,000 euro reward two months ago in Moscow, he said.
The new push to
gain information on the Swedish diplomat and his driver coincides with the 100th
anniversary of Wallenberg’s birth on August 4.
Rainer said the foundation
seeks to “preserve the research and legacy of Wallenberg,” and of gentiles and
Jews who risked their lives during the Shoah to save Jews.
Baruch Tenembaum and Eduardo Eurnekian, founder and chairman of the
International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, respectively, met with Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon and with Ambassador Jan Eliasson, UN deputy
secretary-general, at UN headquarters in New York. They discussed the increased
award amount with Eliasson.
Tenembaum is an Argentinean-Jewish
businessman and Eurnekian is an Argentinean-Armenian businessman.
Wallenberg saved thousands of lives in Budapest during the Holocaust, including
that of Tom Lantos, who later became a US congressman, and co-founded the
Soviet forces arrested Wallenberg and Langfelder on January
17, 1945. Their ultimate fate is still unknown.
Rainer told the Post, “We
have been corresponding with Russian authorities over the
Alexander Darchiev, then-deputy chief of mission at the Russian
Embassy in Washington and now head of the North American Desk at the Russian
Foreign Ministry, said in 2006 that the “responsibility for the death of Mr.
Wallenberg lies with the USSR leadership at that time and on Joseph Stalin
It is “very unlikely that the Soviets killed Wallenberg
without records,” he said.
Rainer said the Russians were still not
allowing “unrestricted access” to their intelligence files regarding Wallenberg.