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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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Statement by the Prime Minister on Raoul Wallenberg Day

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Raoul Wallenberg Day:

“Today, we honour Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Budapest in the 1940s who put himself in harm’s way to save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from persecution and death during the Holocaust.

“Mr. Wallenberg was a true humanitarian and hero, who led an important rescue effort that saved more Jews from the horrors of the Nazi regime than any other individual, organization, or government. A man of incredible bravery and courage, he went to great lengths to provide special protective passports – Schutz-Passes – to thousands of Jews, saving them from deportation to concentration camps. Mr. Wallenberg also created a network of safe havens operating under the protection of the Swedish flag, offering refuge to Jews fleeing persecution.

“Tragically, Mr. Wallenberg disappeared after he was arrested by Soviet forces near the end of the war. While his fate remains unknown, his legacy lives on. In honour of his heroic efforts, countless awards, monuments, institutions, and anti-racism campaigns now bear his name. In 1985, Canada also named him as our first honorary citizen.

“Today, I encourage all Canadians to find inspiration in Mr. Wallenberg’s remarkable example. Jewish communities in Canada and around the world still face unacceptable acts of antisemitism. We must always stand up to hatred and racism. With compassion and courage, we each have the power to make a difference in the lives of those around us.”