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June 12, 1981 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-06-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6 • Triday, June 12, 1981

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Congress Pushing Bills to Make Wallenberg a Citizen

.

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
A bill granting honorary
United States citizenship to
Raoul Wallenberg, the
Swedish diplomat who re-
scued 20,000-50,000 Hun-
garian Jews from the Nazis,
was recommended for ap-
proval last week by two sub-
committees of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee.
Rep. Tom Lantos (D-
Calif.) who sponsored the
bill, noted that this would
be only the second time
Congress has granted hon-
orary citizenship to a for-
eigner. The only other such
grant was to Winston Chur-
chill.
The bill also calls on the
Soviet Union, which is be-
lieved to be holding Wal-
lenberg ever since he was
arrested by the Red Army in
Budapest in January 1945,
to reveal • Wallenberg's

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whereabouts and to free
him.
Lantos, who himself was
rescued by Wallenberg
when he was 16 years old,
told a joint meeting of the
subcommittees on Europe
and the Middle East and
human rights 'and interna-
tional organizations, that
Secretary of State Alexan-
der Haig has assured him
that President Reagan sup-
ports the legislation.
The Administration did
not send a representative to
last week's hearing. In-
stead, Richard Fairbanks,
Assistant Secretary of State
for Congressional Rela-
tions, sent a letter in which
he said the department does
not object to the bill. But, he
noted, giving Wallenberg
honorary citizenship, "does
not confer on the United
States any new interna-
tional legal right, duty or
privilege on which basis to
confront the Soviets on their
indefensible incarceration
of Wallenberg."
However, he stressed that
the action "would serve to
underscore the seriousness
in which the American gov-
ernment and people view
Soviet behavior in the Wal-
lenberg case."
Fairbanks added that the
U.S. plans to "continue to
express our concern over the
Wallenberg case at eyery
appropriate opportunity
and to continue to cooperate
with the government of
Sweden and all other in-
terested parties to obtain a
clarification of Wallen-
berg's fate."
Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.)
in supporting the bill, read a
letter from Rabbi Abraham
Cooper, of the Simon Wei-
senthal - Center for
Holocaust Studies at
Yeshiva University of Los

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Pell stressed that the U.S. berg's effort to save Jews
has an obligation to Wal- and others from the Nazis.
lenberg and his family. He said he was forever im-
"Certainly our country owes provising documents that
it to Raoul Wallenberg to people were able to use fo
try to secure for him the rtheir rescue. He said Wal-
same life and liberty he lenberg's example had a
brought to so many others," "multiplying" effect be-
he said. cause other embassies
Another Congressional began to follow his lead in
witness, Rep. Millicent helping Jews and began is-
Fenwick (R-N.J.), said that suing documents to help
Wallenberg "was in this Jews leave. He noted that
terrible century . . . an his wife, Mrs. Annette Lan-
example of a hero in the an- tos, was saved by Por-
cient classic mold." She said tuguese papers.
Mrs. Lantos founder an,
he saw people suffer and
acted regardless of their chairman of the Interna-
tional Free Wallenberg
religion.
Lantos noted that grant- Committee testified that
ing Wallenberg honorary the Swedish diplomat "gave
citizenship would show a deep comfort not only
posterity that the U.S. did through his rescue efforts
something to help the vic- but also through the
tims of the Nazis. "He acted realization that there was
for the conscience of our at least one man out there in
country and now we must the free world who heard
and responded to our cry of
act for him," Lantos said.
While the Soviet Union anguish."
She told the Jewish Tele-
claims that Wallenberg
died while in prison there, graphic Agency that the
Lantos said he believes he is Jewish community needs to
alive because many inde- do more to speak up for Wal-
pendent witnesses have de- lenberg.
Declaring that there is
scribed seeing a Swedish
"an enormous amount of
prisoner in Soviet prisons.
Lantos described Wallen- evidence" that her brother
remains alive and impris-
oned by Soviet authorities,
the sister of Raoul Wallen-
berg, the missing Swedish
hero of the Holocaust, last
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Unfted Nations Security week called on Americans
to continue their efforts to
Israel, Egypt and the U.S. Council Resolution 242."
Israel's chief delegate, force the Kremlin to release
opened another round of
talks in Jerusalem Tuesday David Kimche, director information on his fate.
on the multinational force general of • the Foreign
Addressing a New York
and about observers Ministry, opened his re- meeting of the American
scheduled to police the -marks with a reference to Jewish Congress' Met-
peace in the Sinai after Is- the sensitivities felt by both ropolitan Council, Nina
rael's final withdrawal next sides on the matter of Wallenberg Lagergran said
Jerusalem:
April.
On the multinational that only international
The location of the talks
— Jerusalem — was consid- force, he said it should serve pressure would force the
ered significant because in as an effective safety valve Russians to reveal the truth
her brother.
the past Egypt has refused through which disputes about
Mrs. Lagergran, of Stoc-
to conduct official negotia- concerning the. Sinai de-
ar- kholm, was in this country
militarization
tions in Jerusalem.
rangements
could
be
venti-
to testify at the Congres-
The Egyptian refusal
sional hearings.
-
lated.
applied to these talks too —
The American Jewish
The U.S. team is headed
until President Anwar
Congress,
which has given
Sadat acceded to Premier by State Department strong backing to the bill,
Senior
Aide
Michael
Menahem Begin's request
reiterated its support of the
at the Ofira summit last Sterner, who has said he measure at the meeting and
Thursday that the talks be hopes this present round, again urged all its members
due to go on until today,
held in Jerusalem.
to write to their representa-
The Egyptian Chief will see the conclusion of tives in Washington telling
Delegate Taha Shasha, an agreement on the them of their interest in the
mandate.
began the session with a force
The three teams include legislation. Bnai Brith In-
public statement to the
effect that the presence of military and legal experts ternational has also
his team in Jerusalem who are working on the de- endorsed the legislation.
"should not be construed tails of the force's deploy-
as affecting the well- ment, its functions, and the
known and firm Egyp- privileges and immunities
tian stand on Jerusalem. it will have.
Among countries men-
FOR YOUR ommonos &
"We consider that all un-
PRECIOUS JEWELS
ilateral actions and laws tioned as possible partici-
taken by Israel with a view pants in the force, alongside
Sedge; Pz.;igdelie
to altering the status of the United States, are Au-
Scott
Jerusalem are null and stralia, New Zealand,
755 W. Big Beaver Rd.
void. They wilrnot affect the Canada, Fiji, Nepal, Argen-
(16 mile at 1-75)
final status of the Holy City. tina and Italy.
Troy, Michigan
1
Arab Jerusalem remains
Phone:
Women
persuade
men
to
part of the West Bank occu-
313-362 -4500 I
pied by Israel. It is, there- do good as well as do evil —
fore, subject to the Geneva but they always persuade
convention of 1949 and to them.

Angeles urging the Foreign
Affairs Committee to de-
mand of the government
full documentation of the
Wallenberg case. Cooper
charged that the State De-
partment and other gov-
ernment agencies had only
released about 80 percent of
the documents in the case.
The ',committee also re-
ceived a statement from
former Secretary of State
Edmund Muskie which out-
lined the background of the
Wallenberg mission. Wal-
lenberg, then a young busi-
nessman, was sent to Hun-
gary. by the Swedish gov-
ernment and the request of
the U.S. War Refugee
Board.
Lantos said he hoped
Congress would be able to
adopt the legislation by
July 9, the 37th anniver-
sary of Wallenberg's arrival
in Budapest. He said he has
275 co-signers to his resolu-
tion. Sen. Claiborne Pell
(D-R.I.) who has introduced
a companion resolution in
the Senate says he has 51
co-sponsors and hopes the
Senate Foreign Relations
Committee can hold hear-
ings soon.

Tripartite Talks in Jerusalem
Focus on Multinational Force

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