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League for Human Rights Urges Canadian Government to Name Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen

February 29, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The League for Human Rights of B ‘nai B’rith Canada has urged the federal government to name Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved some 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the Nazi occupation of that country, an Honorary Citizen of Canada.

‘We believe Wallenberg’s devotion to the highest humanitarian ideals — ideals which Canadians fought and died for — warrants such recognition,” David Mat-as, the League’s national chairman, said in a letter to Secretary of State Serge Joyal.

This “very substantial step” would show that Canada is ready to play a leadership role in helping to “free Wallenberg from the web of Soviet untruth where he has languished for thirty-nine years,” Ma tar said. “To honor Wallenberg is to honor the principles of freedom and dignity of life for which this nation stands; it is to honor Canada. “

Despite a Soviet claim in 1957 that Wallenberg died of a heart attack-in prison 10 years earlier, reports that he is alive have surfaced as recently as 1978.

In 1983, the United States named Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen, only the second time it hod accorded a foreigner that honor. The first was Winston Churchill.

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