Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Statement by Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.) on Raoul Wallenberg Tribute

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Raoul Wallenberg, Canada’s first honorary citizen and a Swedish non-Jew who showed that one person with the compassion to care and the courage to act can transform history.

His life is celebrated in a new exhibit at the Canadian War Museum entitled, “To me there’s no other choice”. Canada Post has also unveiled a stamp in his honour as we mark the centennial of his birth.

While Wallenberg rescued so many during the Holocaust, he was not rescued by so many who could. Let this moment of remembrance also be a reminder of the need for action.

While Russia continues to maintain that Raoul Wallenberg died in 1947, the evidence is clear that Wallenberg did not then die, but was alive into the 1960s and 1970s and disappeared into the Soviet gulag. Accordingly, the time has come for Russia to open up its archives and to unlock the secrets of history so that we can finally learn the truth about this disappeared hero of humanity. For us there should be no other choice.