Toronto Public Library Presents a Special Exhibition with the Embassy of Sweden: “To me there's no other choice" – Raoul Wallenberg 1912–2012

January 9, 2013 | Media Relations

Comments (0)

TORONTO (Wednesday, January 9, 2013) — The Toronto Public Library is pleased to host the exhibition “To me there’s no other choice” – Raoul Wallenberg 1912– 2012, highlighting the life and humanitarian achievements of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust during World War II. Raoul Wallenberg was named Canada’s first honorary citizen in 1985.

The exhibition can be seen during library open hours at the Toronto Reference Library from January 12 to January 23, 2013.         

What:             Media event and tour of the exhibit

When:            Monday, January 14, 10 am to 11 am

Where:           Beeton Auditorium, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street

Who:              The following individuals will be available for interviews:

  • Mr. Ulf Holm, Deputy Speaker, Swedish Parliament
  • Mr. Henrik Selin, Swedish Institute
  • Mrs. Eva Meisels, a survivor born in a “Swedish House” in Budapest
  • Eugene Knapik, Manager, Media Relations, Canada Post, with a preview of the commemorative Raoul Wallenberg stamp that Canada Post will issue on January 17, 2013

About the Exhibition

This dramatic presentation of Raoul Wallenberg’s life and humanitarian achievements marks the anniversary of his birth 100 years ago. It was created by the Swedish Institute in partnership with the Living History Forum.  It comes to Toronto via New York, Washington D.C., Tel Aviv, Berlin, Geneva and Ottawa.

The exhibition is created as a journey to tell the story of a man whose choices in life made him an immortal icon. The exhibition features three distinct stages: Raoul Wallenberg’s childhood, his heroic efforts during the final stages of World War II and lastly, a meeting with some of the people whose fate was decided by Raoul Wallenberg. Today, these survivors are elderly and among the last of their generation able to recall this chapter in the history of humankind. The exhibition is a platform for dialogue on issues about tolerance, democracy and personal courage.

About Raoul Wallenberg

A diplomat and businessman, Wallenberg was appointed second secretary of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Budapest in June 1944. His assignment was to launch a rescue operation for Jews. By issuing protective Swedish passports and renting buildings, “Swedish houses,” where Jews could seek shelter, and by personal interventions he saved tens of thousands of lives, while repeatedly risking his own. 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.

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 on January 17, 1985. 

Related Programming:

Raoul Wallenberg Exhibit: Opening Event
Monday, January 14, 2013
7 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Atrium

Councillor Paul Ainslie (Chair, Toronto Public Library Board) and His Excellency Teppo Tauriainen (Ambassador of Sweden) officially open the exhibit.

Perspectives on Raoul Wallenberg: Panel Discussion
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
7 pm

Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon
Panelists: Brian Palmer, Social Anthropologist, Uppsala University;  Irwin Cotler, Law Professor, Member of Canadian Parliament; Sarah Beamish, President, Executive Committee, Amnesty International Canada; LeeAnn Fujii, Political Scientist, University of Toronto.

About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, more than 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow over 33 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.


Media Contact:

Ana-Maria Critchley
Manager, Stakeholder Relations
Toronto Public Library


Britt Bengtsson
Information Officer
Swedish Embassy
Tel: 613-244-8211
Cell: 613-884-2410