Gordon Brown receives Wallenberg award
No other Swede in modern times has made such a great contribution to humanity as Raoul Wallenberg. Raoul Wallenberg showed that one man can make a difference. We know that Raoul Wallenberg became one of the outside world’s witnesses – the eyes and ears of the international community – at a time of horrific human degradation.
As we remember Raoul Wallenberg’s life and work – as well as other heroes’ courageous actions, we reaffirm our common aspiration for moral understanding and justice in the world. We must all work together to ensure that future generations do not forget the atrocities committed during this dark period in our recent history.
Last week the Swedish Embassy hosted a ceremony of bestowal of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Medal – initiated by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. The medal was awarded to The Right Honourable Gordon Brown for his efforts to educate the young generations about the Holocaust and its Rescuers. It was a very moving event.
Present during the ceremony were also several people who managed to escape and survive the Holocaust.
Bronia Veitch was hidden as a child in Belgium and survived through the help of very brave people. Lazar Kleinman survived Auschwitz. His story is so strong, so matter of fact and therefore incredibly frightening. Jack Kagan was sent to a ghetto in Belarus at the age of 12. He eventually managed to escape the ghetto by building a very long tunnel. He then joined the resistance movement to fight the Nazis. These are stories that you will never forget once you’ve heard them. These are stories that need to be told over and over again.
It was a great honour to have a rescuer with us. Sir Nicholas Winton had just celebrated his 104th birthday. Sir Nicholas organized kindertransports from Czechoslovakia under very difficult circumstances. He saved close to 700 children and the first 20 children were sent to Sweden. His account of the operation was most interesting and inspiring.
It was a very moving event and it is clear that the Wallenberg story will forever live on and inspire the world.