Green Party Statement on Raoul Wallenberg Day

(OTTAWA) - Today, the Green Party of Canada honours the legacy and heroism of Raoul Wallenberg, who gave his life in the pursuit of justice and defence of human rights.

“Raoul Wallenberg saved the lives of Hungarian Jews who were persecuted during World War II,” stated Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party and  Member of Parliament (Saanich-Gulf Islands). “Today is an opportunity to reflect and renew our commitment to combating racism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination.”

In June 1944, Wallenberg was appointed legation secretary of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Budapest, where he launched a rescue operation for Jews. He defended families and individuals by issuing protective Swedish passports and providing safe shelter, which ultimately saved tens of thousands of lives.

On January 17, 1945, Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviet Union on charges of espionage and disappeared. However, he has not been forgotten.  He has since been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, and commemorated through monuments, films, and institutions that bear his name. In Canada, Raoul Wallenberg was made the first Honorary Citizen of Canada in 1985, and January 17, the day of his disappearance, marks ‘Raoul Wallenberg Day’.

“Let us take inspiration from Raoul Wallenberg’s courageous efforts as we work to ensure that all citizens are treated equally. It is crucial that we continue to fight for human rights around the world,” concluded May.