TORONTO, Jan. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Canada Post commemorates Swedish-born Raoul Wallenberg, who, in 1985, was designated Canada's first honorary citizen. During the Second World War, in Budapest, Hungary, Wallenberg saved the lives of more than 100,000 Jews, before disappearing into Soviet custody in 1945 at the age of 32.
"Raoul Wallenberg is a true hero," says Minister of State (Transport) Steven Fletcher. "This stamp offers one small way to show that we have not forgotten the incredible and indomitable bravery he showed in the face of tyranny."
"Historical stamp releases are a way to recognize the inspired accomplishments of those Canadians - in this case an honorary Canadian - who sought to serve and better humanity," says Canada Post president and CEO Deepak Chopra. "With this stamp, we hope to shine a light on Raoul Wallenberg's heroic story, including the sacrifice he made to save others."
Among his many creative efforts to save lives, Wallenberg invented a special pass called a Schutz-Pass that he designed with Swedish colours and symbols. Under increasingly dangerous circumstances, he handed it out indiscriminately to Jews, which helped protect them from deportation to the death camps. The Schutz-Pass alone is believed to have saved up to 20,000 lives.
What happened to Wallenberg after the war remains unknown. On January 17, 1945, the Soviets took him into custody for unclear reasons, and his friends and family never saw him again. Inquiries into his fate continue to this day.
The internationally-denominated stamp features an image of the Schutz-Pass and Wallenberg's 1944 passport photo and a photo of Hungarian Jews rescued from deportation thanks to Wallenberg's efforts.
About the Stamp
The Raoul Wallenberg stamp measures 40 mm x 32 mm (horizontal) with simulated perforations. The stamp was designed by q30 design inc. It is pressure sensitive and was printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in five colours. The Official First Day Cover will be cancelled in Ottawa, Ontario. The stamps are available in booklets of six.
SOURCE Canada Post