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Canada Post Honors Holocaust Survivor Saved by Wallenberg


Canada Post’s 2013 Stamp Program recognized Raoul Wallenberg, Canada’s first honorary citizen, with a commemorative stamp released on 17 January.

Wallenberg, a Swedish architect and diplomat who helped save the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II, was posthumously bestowed honorary citizenship by Canada on 17 January 1985.

“To recognize Mr. Wallenberg with a stamp is a fitting way to mark his courage and his contributions to our country and we are proud to add him in our stamp program,” said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra.   

The story behind the stamp took an interesting turn when it was discovered that the woman whose identity papers and photo are featured in the background of the design actually lives in Canada.

Judith Weiszmann, now 83 years old and residing in Winnipeg, was honored earlier this month with a surprise ceremony at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto.  Ms. Weiszmann did not know she was on the stamp until her daughter bought a booklet of them in January and recognized her mother’s photograph.  Canada Post was also unaware of her identity until it was revealed in an article by the National Post in January. 

“We do lots of historical stamps and each one has a great story, but never a story like this,” Mr. Chopra said.  “To know that the person on the stamp is actually alive, and here to tell her story — it is just amazing.” 

Following the war, Ms. Weizmann married a man who was also saved by Wallenberg, moved to Canada, and established a successful career as an engineer.  Her photo and identity papers are also featured on Sweden’s Wallenberg stamp. 

The anniversary of Wallenberg’s honorary citizenship has become an annual tribute in Canada, on what is known as Raoul Wallenberg Day.  He is honored throughout the country in the form of memorials, monuments, and parks.