Canadian War Museum presents exhibition honouring Raoul Wallenberg, beacon of moral courage, honorary Canadian

November 21, 2012

Ottawa, Ontario, November 21, 2012 — Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust during the Second World War and was later named Canada’s first honorary citizen for his extraordinary bravery and moral courage. His life and humanitarian achievements are presented in “To me there’s no other choice” – Raoul Wallenberg 1912–2012, an exhibition presented at the Canadian War Museum from November 21, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

This international travelling exhibition was produced in Sweden to mark the centenary of Wallenberg’s birth. It was conceived as a starting point for dialogue on issues about tolerance, democracy and personal courage.

“Raoul Wallenberg risked his life for a moral imperative: to save innocent men, women and children from persecution, imprisonment and death during the Second World War,” said James Whitham, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “We are pleased to present his inspiring story.” 

Born into one of Sweden’s most prominent families, Wallenberg was a successful businessperson when appointed second secretary of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Budapest, Hungary in June 1944. His assignment was to launch a rescue operation for Jews threatened by the Holocaust. He saved tens of thousands of lives by issuing protective Swedish passports, providing refuge in rented buildings, and intervening with authorities on behalf of Hungarian Jews, often at his own peril.

In January 1945, Wallenberg was arrested by Soviet forces invading Budapest. The Soviet Union later claimed that he died in a Soviet prison on July 17, 1947. Questions about his fate persist to this day. 

In recognition of his humanitarian deeds, Raoul Wallenberg was made Canada’s first honorary citizen. The honour was bestowed on January 17, 1985. 

“To me there’s no other choice” – Raoul Wallenberg 1912–2012 is presented at the Canadian War Museum from November 21, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

This exhibition was created by the Swedish Institute in partnership with the Living History Forum, and is presented at the Canadian War Museum.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.


Media contacts:

Yasmine Mingay
Manager, Public Affairs
Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8608

Avra Gibbs Lamey
Communications and Media Relations Officer
Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8607

For more information visit Follow us on