Wallenberg Commission visits Los Angeles
Friday, June 15, 2012
A series of high-level meetings to further the goals of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission took place in Los Angeles last week to enhance the campaign to award Raoul Wallenberg with the Congressional Gold Medal.
A series of high-level meetings to further the goals of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission took place in Los Angeles last week to enhance the campaign to award Raoul Wallenberg with the Congressional Gold Medal. The Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission is an effort spearheaded by The Friedlander Group to recognize the heroism of Raoul Wallenberg in honor of the centennial of his birth. August 4, 2012 will mark the centennial of his birthday. Raoul Wallenberg, acting under the War Refugee Board, is credited with saving over 100,000 of the remaining Jews in Hungary in a six-month period during the dark days of the Holocaust. Raoul Wallenberg’s fate remains a mystery. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan along with the Congress of the United States proclaimed Raoul Wallenberg an honorary citizen of the United States, a bill that was introduced by the late Congressman Tom Lantos, who was saved by Raoul Wallenberg. Representatives of the commission, led by Ezra Friedlander, met with Mr. Sol Teichman who recently authored The Long Journey Home, a memoir of his youth in pre-war Munkacs and experience during the Holocaust. Mr. Teichman’s father lived in a safe house, “shutzhouze,” set up by Raoul Wallenberg under the protection of the Swedish Government. The Teichman family is known for their benevolent philanthropy and leadership of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Throughout the week, Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group, representing the Wallenberg Commission, also met with prominent Los Angeles communal leaders Andrew Friedman, Esq., and The Honorable Emil Fish. Mr. Friedman, among various leadership positions, will serve as the co-chair of the upcoming Wallenberg Congressional Luncheon and serves on the Los Angeles Fire Department’s board of fire commissioners and is the president of Congregation Bais Naftoli. The Honorary Emil Fish is a member of the U.S. Commission to Preserve America’s Heritage Abroad, recently celebrated the restoration of the Bardijov Cemetery in Slovakia, is currently engaged in the building of a permanent memorial to the Jews of Bardijov, and will also be honored at the luncheon in Washington. A major announcement of interest to the Los Angeles community is the addition of Stanley Treitel and Stanley Black to the board of governors of the Wallenberg Commission. Mr. Treitel, a well known and respected leader in the Los Angles community, is credited with identifying Mr. Andrew Stevens as the guest of honor at the upcoming Congressional Celebration Luncheon on July 11, 2012 in the U.S. Senate, which will mark the passage of the Senate bill to award Raoul Wallenberg with a Congressional Gold Medal. Andrew E. Stevens, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, today lives in Beverly Hills. He is a successful businessman and active philanthropist. Mr. Stevens was a fighter in the Budapest underground during the waning days of the Budapest occupations by the Nazis. He personally saved hundreds of lives directly and indirectly by providing Raoul Wallenberg with forged documents that Mr. Wallenberg later used to save Jewish lives as acknowledged in Mr. Stevens’ book, Rebel with a Cause. Stanley Black is the CEO of Black Equities Group and he is most proud of his status as a benefactor of numerous charitable organizations and a passionate supporter of the State of Israel who utilizes his political relationships to further Israel’s interests.