Statement by Minister Chagger on Raoul Wallenberg Day


OTTAWA, January 17, 2021

Today, we pay tribute to Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.

Mr. Wallenberg led one of the largest aid operations of the Nazi era by providing Hungarian Jews with a special protective passport, the Schutz-Pass. This document made it possible to save thousands of Hungarian Jews from deportation to concentration camps. Mr. Wallenberg also created a network of shelters, such as hospitals, childcare centres, and soup kitchens, which helped save many lives.

Towards the end of the war, Mr. Wallenberg was captured and imprisoned by Soviet forces. Unfortunately, his fate remains unknown to this day. In honour of his heroic courage and exceptional dedication to saving lives in the face of danger, many monuments, streets, parks, and institutions now bear his name. The Government of Canada paid tribute to his memory by naming him an honorary citizen in 1985 and releasing a commemorative postage stamp bearing his likeness in 2013. Mr. Wallenberg's heroism is a lesson in humanity, compassion, and courage that continues to inspire us today to pursue the fight against hatred and antisemitism in all their forms, as we build a consciously more inclusive country.

As Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, I want to highlight Raoul Wallenberg’s courage and compassion, and reiterate the importance of never letting hate take root in communities across Canada.

For more information (media only), please contact:

Emelyana Titarenko
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

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