Danby welcomes Wallenberg stamp

September 3, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Closet philatelist Labor MP Michael Danby has welcomed Australia Post’s decision to produce a stamp featuring Australia’s first honorary citizen Raoul Wallenberg.

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

“Surprisingly, it’s been a bit of a battle” Michael Danby said, paying great tribute to Judi Schiff of the B’nai B’rith organisation for drawing the issue to his attention and running the B’nai B’rith Raoul Wallenberg Unit.
“Back in June I organised for Mark Dreyfus and Josh Frydenberg to co-sign a letter I wrote to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull requesting the production of a commemorative stamp to mark the 70th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg’s Jewish rescue operation” said Michael Danby.

“Outside of Israel, Australia has the largest number of survivors of the Holocaust per capita of any country. Some of them from Hungary and Slovakia have Mr Wallenberg to thank for their survival.  Raoul Wallenberg rescued more Jews than anyone else during the Second World War. He was later disappeared by the Soviets when the Red Army occupied Budapest after defeating the Nazis. But despite the fact that Prime Minister Julia Gillard made Mr Wallenberg an honorary citizen in recognition of the thousands of lives he saved, for whatever reason Australia Post didn’t think a stamp was warranted.”

Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

According to a July 2 report, following an inquiry by The Australian, a spokesman for Mr Turnbull said the minister would write to Australia Post chairman John Stanhope asking Australia Post to mark the 70th anniversary of Wallenberg’s Hungarian mission.
According to advice just received from the office of the Communications Minister, the stamp will be issued as part of a special commemorative series to recognise individuals that have made a significant humanitarian contribution.

Unfortunately the stamp’s release will not fall exactly on 70th anniversary as it is due to be released in mid-2015, although this will coincide with the 70 anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis.

“Thank you Judi Schiff” said Michael Danby “she kept on pushing despite being brushed off initially by Australia Post. And thank you Malcolm Turnbull for stepping up and responding to the appeal by myself, Josh Frydenberg and Dreyfus.”
“At a time when groups driven by mindless hate are committing unspeakable atrocities, we should remember the righteous – the good guys who would not stand idly by” said Michael Danby.

Comments

One Response to “Danby welcomes Wallenberg stamp”
  1. Naomi says:

    Brava to Judy Schiff for persevering with the campaign to have Raoul Wallenberg commemorated on an Australian postage stamp. And thank you to MPs Danby, Frydenberg, Dreyfus and Turnbull for also championing this important cause. We look forward to seeing the stamps in 2015.

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