If I were to ask most Canadians if they knew who Raoul Wallenberg was, chances are only a small percentage would know the answer. But today offers us a collective moment to reflect on one of the most courageous figures that best represented humanity during the Second World War.
Why? Exactly 69 years ago Wallenberg, who was Sweden’s diplomatic envoy in Budapest at the height of the Holocaust, mysteriously disappeared as the Soviet Union swept into Hungary. It is understood by academics and governments alike that Wallenberg was detained by the Soviet military and was later transferred eastward into the Soviet Union, never to be seen again. The truth behind what happened to him is still a mystery and can only be answered if the current Russian government comes clean and opens up its historical archives.
The people who were saved by his courageous actions, however, have made sure his legacy lives on and he is recognized as one of the 20th century’s great humanitarian heroes.