Canada Post adds first honorary Canadian
Aug. 3, 2012
(Ottawa, ON) – Recognition of the first honorary Canadian citizen – a Swedish architect and diplomat who helped save the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Second World War – has been added to Canada Post’s 2013 Stamp Program.
Raoul Wallenberg, who would have turned 100 on Aug. 4, was posthumously bestowed honorary citizenship on Jan. 17, 1985. Canada Post will release a stamp on Jan. 17, 2013 to highlight Wallenberg’s courage.
After leading the mission that saved nearly 100,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary, Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviet government on Jan. 17, 1945 and is believed to have died in captivity two years later at the age of 34. During the war, Wallenberg issued protective passes for Hungarian Jews and declared a number of sites in Budapest – dubbed protective houses – as Swedish territory, where Jews could seek refuge.
The anniversary of his capture – and honorary citizenship – has become an annual tribute in Canada, on what is known as Raoul Wallenberg Day. He is honoured throughout the country in the form of memorials, monuments and parks.
“Raoul Wallenberg is a shining example of incredible courage during the Second World War. His actions benefitted many Canadians and thousands of others from around the world,” said the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport).
“To recognize Mr. Wallenberg with a stamp is a fitting way to mark his courage and his contributions to our country and we are proud to add him in our stamp program,” said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra.
In addition to Canada, Wallenberg also holds honorary citizenship in many other countries, including Hungary, the United States and Israel. Wallenberg has also been honoured on stamps from around the world – including Sweden, Hungary, the U.S., Australia and Argentina.
The 2013 stamp program line-up will include a variety of topics, including historical figures, artists and significant anniversaries. Each year, more than 20 different themes are showcased via stamps by the Corporation.