Hundreds Honor Wallenberg At Concert
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Baroness Elisabeth Kemeny Fuchs, who pressed her husband to help Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg save thousands of Jews from the Nazis, joined 400 people honoring Wallenberg 40 years after he disappeared.
She said there was evidence Wallenberg lived past 1947, when Soviet officials said he died in a prison camp.
″They do not find out what happened to him after the war because they are afraid of the Russian Bear,″ said the baroness, a guest of honor at a concert Wednesday organized by the Wallenberg Committee of Greater Philadelphia.
President Reagan called on the Soviets for an accounting on Jan. 17, 1985, the 40th anniversary of the diplomat’s disappearance. Leona Feldman, founder of the Wallenberg committee, said there is evidence the diplomat is alive.
″We are asking for help now in the same way that Mr. Wallenberg gave help 40 years ago to those who needed, it,″ Ms. Feldman said before the concert.
The baroness, who now lives in Munich, West Germany, said Wallenberg asked for her help. She pressed her husband, Baron Gabor Kemeny, minister for foreign affairs in Budapest, Hungary, to push for recognition of the safe travel passes Wallenberg issued to nearly 100,000 Jews in Budapest.
The baroness recalled Wallenberg’s response when the German government said the travel passes were invalid and her husband was called to a cabinet meeting.
″Raoul implored me to help. He was desperate. I talked to my husband and said he must do something. He told me ‘I can’t fight the whole cabinet.’ But after midnight word came that 9,000 passes would be honored. I can still remember Raoul’s elation, his happiness,″ she said.
She said she persuaded her husband by telling him: ″I’m going to leave you if you don’t.″
Despite intercession by others, the baron was found guilty of war crimes. He died in prison. The baroness said the war crimes courts decided he ″had to share the collective guilt″ of the Nazi reign of terror.