Nobel Candidate Honors John XXIII

Wallenberg Foundation Founder Notes Pope's Help for Jews

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ROME, JAN. 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- One of the candidates for this year's Nobel Peace Prize has dedicated his life to discovering those whom he calls heroic human beings. On his list is Pope John XXIII.

Baruj Tenembaum, founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, was nominated to receive the Nobel for his work. He has been a leader in interreligious dialogue since the time of Pope Paul VI. 

ZENIT spoke with Tenembaum about his foundation and nomination, and during the conversation, the Jewish Argentinean paid tribute to John XXIII.

Tenembaum characterized his life as being dedicated "to thank those human beings who saved lives, who risked themselves. [...] At the Wallenberg Foundation we work intensively to discover, among others, the exceptional deeds of those heroic human beings."

The Wallenberg Foundation aims to pay tribute to the "Saviors of the Holocaust," recognizing those who "risked their lives and freedom to save thousands of Jews from a certain death in hands of the Nazis during the Second World War," the site of the foundation explains.

Tenembaum noted how he has discovered the vast efforts of Angelo Roncalli (the future John XXIII) to help the Jews.

"Time and time again," he said, "we cannot but feel deeply moved to tears when we learn of the feats of this simple, modest and great son of the Italian people."

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Details of the foundation's research into Roncalli's efforts are available on its Web site at The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation: http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/