On July 26, President Obama signed into law the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Act. This was the culmination of the legislative process to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Raoul Wallenberg for his efforts in saving over 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the waning days of World War II. Both houses of Congress voted unanimously to present the posthumous award to Wallenberg.
The Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission, which was spearheaded by The Friedlander Group, was founded to in order to highlight the heroic actions of the Swedish diplomat, along with its organizational partners noted the important milestone.
Mrs. Ruth Lichtenstein, Director of Project Witness, a major partner of the Wallenberg Commission said, “The signing of this legislation will help educate future generations on what it means to devote one’s life to another.”
“The President signing this legislation is an important symbol for the world to see how important the legacy of Wallenberg is to the United States” said Peter Rebenwurzel, Chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission.
Said Ezra Friedlander, CEO, The Friedlander Group, which spearheaded the lobbying efforts that helped the unanimous passage in the House and Senate, “As we celebrate the upcoming centennial of Wallenberg on August 4th, we remind ourselves to follow Raoul Wallenberg’s example and always be on the right side of history. We also must stay vigilant so that the memory of the Holocaust will not be diminished. Indeed this is the goal of the efforts to commemorate Wallenberg’s heroism with a Congressional Gold Medal.”
“As we celebrate Raoul Wallenberg’s upcoming centennial on August 4, we must internalize the lessons of his heroic actions,” said Wallenberg Commission Board Member, Sidney Greenberger.
Matt Lehric, White House spokesperson, added “The President was proud to sign this bill as a commemoration of his selfless dedication and a reminder of how his inspiring commitment to humanity endures.”
The signing is just part a national campaign by the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Commission highlighting Wallenberg’s heroism, which also includes the naming of public streets and other venues for Wallenberg in honor of the 100th anniversary of Wallenberg’s birthday which will take place next week.
The US mint is now authorized to design and print the Congressional Gold Medal which will be presented in the Congress.