What happened in Cairo?

05-10-2011, by C.G.McKay,

C.G.McKay [1]

In 1982, Carl Ivan Danielsson, formerly Swedish Minister in Budapest during World War II , was named as one of the Righteous by Yad Vashem.[2] Recognition of his work in assisting the Jews of Hungary came two years  after that of his junior colleague Per Anger and considerably after that of Raoul Wallenberg (1963) and of Valdemar and Nina Langlet (1965).  Although the decision process of the Yad Vashem committee remains secret, it is perhaps not too hard to discern a reason for these dates. Wallenberg and the Langlets had after all been much more actively involved in the rescue attempts and there were many Jews still alive due to their exertions  who could testify to their work  at “the sharp end”. By contrast, Danielsson had remained very much Head of Mission. Nonetheless Danielsson loyally supported the activities of his juniors Anger and Wallenberg and was noteworthy in personally signing many of the protective documents issued.[3] Nor would it be true to say that his contribution lay simply in his signature.  Danielsson was personally involved for example in the case of the Eismann sisters.[4] Finally, instead of moving from Budapest at the suggestion of the Hungarian authorities, Danielsson chose to stay in the capital bis zum bittern Ende thus providing  important moral support for Wallenberg and his activities.

Despite these merits, there are still some puzzling features about the curious silence which surrounds Danielsson. As Göran Rydeberg has pointed out, the apparent lack of interest taken in Danielsson by UD contrasts with that shown in some of his junior colleagues. Whereas Lars Berg  and Anger would give their accounts of what had happened in Budapest, there is a striking lacuna regarding the retrospective view of the Minister himself. [5]

At one level, the treatment of Danielsson might, at a pinch, be seen as an expression of human sympathy for the state he was in when he returned from Budapest. The minister was not a young man and the  strain of the last period in Budapest had broken him physically and morally. That is one theory.[6] Then again ,Danielsson had his critics, none more so than Valdemar Langlet who drew the attention of his friend Östen Undén, the Swedish postwar Minister for Foreign Affairs,  to the numerous blunders  which caused “the legation to be shown up in a bad light in the eyes of the prospective and later actual victor”.[7] About all these blunders, Langlet had been silent in  his memoir Verk och Dagar I Budapest.  “A whole book”  Langlet confided in Undén, “could in actual fact have been written about this”.

The fact that he had Undén’s ear may have meant that a highly negative picture of Danielsson was etched in Undén’s mind, thus ensuring perhaps that a blind eye was turned to the former Minister in Budapest for fear of dredging up other unpalatable facts, best forgotten. But the plain fact was that Danielsson had caused UD some embarrassment and discomfort,  before his stint in Budapest. > More

« Who killed Wallenberg? »

01-10-2011,

New eBook on Raoul Wallenberg

The topics in focus:

– World War II, 1945, the last days of the Battle of Budapest,
– Secret trial 1953, one of the best kept secrets after Stalins death
– New Internet Generation 2006, fundamental new historical research


Sverige borde inrätta en Raoul Wallenberg-dag

29-09-2011, by Daniel Schatz,

Medan hedersbetygelserna strömmade in runt om i världen uppvisades under tiden ett genuint ointresse för Wallenbergs gärning och öde från Sverige, vilket bekräftats i den statliga utredningen « Ett diplomatiskt misslyckande: Fallet Raoul Wallenberg och den svenska utrikesledningen ». Det skriver Daniel Schatz, doktorand i statsvetenskap.

OM FÖRFATTAREN

Daniel Schatz
Doktorand i statsvetenskap, debattör och skribent

Den svenska diplomaten Raoul Wallenberg skulle fyllt 100 år 2012.Han dog med största sannolikhet i sovjetisk fångenskap, under omständigheter vi fortfarande ej har full inblick i. Som ung tjänsteman på svenska legationen i Budapest utfärdade han genom list, beslutsamhet och mod svenska skyddspass för ungerska judar, och räddade därigenom tiotusentals kvinnor, män och barn från en säker död under Förintelsen.

Wallenbergs försvinnande blev startskottet på en livslång kamp för familjen att få honom tillbaka till Sverige. Kampen för sanningen om hans öde krossade den svenske hjältens familj. Både hans mor Maria « Maj » Wising Wallenberg och hennes man Fredrik von Dardel tog livet av sig efter en lång och fruktlös kamp.

Få andra svenskar har åtnjutit så stor internationell aktning som Wallenberg. Hans insatser för att rädda människoliv används som exempel runt om i världen för att demonstrera att individens handling är möjlig och nödvändig för att trotsa grova och systematiska kränkningar av de universella mänskliga rättigheterna. Per Ahlmark har skrivit att Wallenberg « för tanken till några av människans viktigaste och kanske mest ovanliga egenskaper: den kompromisslösa medkänslan med andra, förmågan att urskilja ondska och det moraliska och fysiska modet ». Än idag påminner han om vårt moraliska ansvar att reagera mot de krafter som försöker bryta ned demokratins och rättsstatens principer.


Det existerar idag fler än trettio monument över Wallenberg i tolv länder på fem kontinenter. Som andra icke-amerikan efter Winston Churchill utsågs han 1981 till amerikansk hedersmedborgare, han blev kanadensisk hedersmedborgare 1985 och hedersmedborgare i Israel 1986. Han är ihågkommen genom böcker, musikaler, symfonier, monument och filmer i länder som Japan, Storbritannien och Australien. Otaliga är de byggnader, platser, institutioner och gator som erhållit hans namn i städer som Budapest och Lund. Frimärken har gjorts med hans bild i länder som Uruguay, Argentina och USA.

Press Release: re: AP Article, Sept. 26, 2011 « Wallenberg Possibly Outlived Death Date »

27-09-2011, by Dr. V. Birstein and S. Berger,

PRESS RELEASE

Dr. Vadim Birstein  birstein@pipeline.com
Susanne Berger  sberger@prodigy.net

re: Associated Press Article, September 26, 2011 « Wallenberg Possibly Outlived Death Date » (by Arthur Max and Vladimir Isachenkov)

In the above named article Lt. General Vasily Khristoforov, Chief of the FSB Registration and Archival Collections Directorate, makes several statements we would like to address as follows:

1. It is an undisputed fact that Russian officials have withheld critical information from researchers for decades, including from the Swedish-Russian Working Group that investigated the Raoul Wallenberg case from 1991-2001. Most importantly, this includes information about a « Prisoner Nr. 7 » who was interrogated on July 23, 1947 and whom Mr. Khristoforov now confirms to have been Raoul Wallenberg. Researchers have yet to receive a copy of the full page of the Lubyanka prison interrogation register for that day, in uncensored form, showing the  complete list of interrogated prisoners.

2.Despite repeated requests, neither we or the Working Group was informed that formal interrogation statements from Willy Roedel, Raoul Wallenberg’s long-term cellmate, survived in the Russian archives. We also have not seen any of the documentation for Willy Roedel that was turned over to the Swedish-Russian Working Group in 1993—seven pages with censored page numbers that include his death certificate and autopsy report—in its original form nor in the context of the file PF 9653 entitled « File of Operational Correspondence on Prisoners-of-War » from which the documents apparently originate. In addition, Mr. Khristoforov confirms that fifty-seven pages referring to Roedel’s case have been withheld from researchers.

3. Mr. Khristoforov states that none of the preserved interrogation statements by Willy Roedel refer to Raoul Wallenberg. That may well be true but researchers should be allowed to review the material in full and confirm that this is indeed so. Mr. Khristoforov brought file PF 9653 to his interview with the Associated Press but did not allow the reporters who interviewed him to open the file and review the material. The collection of documents concerning Willy Roedel and other similar cases could provide important clues as to how the Raoul Wallenberg was handled by Soviet authorities. The fact that large parts of Willy Roedel’s file exist raises serious questions if such documentation also continues to exist for Raoul Wallenberg, as well as possibly for Wallenberg’s driver, Vilmos Langfelder.

4. Mr. Khristoforov claims that due to extensive document destruction the full circumstances of Raoul Wallenberg’s fate after July 1947 will never be learned. However, Khristoforov fails to mention the many document collections directly connected with the Raoul Wallenberg case that continue to exist in Russian security services archives but remain completely inaccessible to researchers. This includes key investigative files in the archival collections of the Russian Internal Security Service (FSB) and the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), as well as important correspondence records between the Russian Security Services and the Soviet leadership in the decisive 1945-47 years and beyond. Also, researchers currently have no proper way of assessing whether missing documentation has been indeed destroyed or simply continues to be withheld. Contrary to Mr. Khristoforov’s assertions, it is quite likely that knowledge of Raoul Wallenberg’s fate was preserved and is known today.

5. Russian officials have never revealed the source of a key document in the Wallenberg case, the so called Smoltsov note from 1947, which was presented in an official statement in February 1957 by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko. This note, supposedly authored by the Lubyanka prison doctor A. L. Smoltsov, claimed that Raoul Wallenberg died suddenly of a heart attack on July 17, 1947.The document carries important notations, including a page number, which should make it possible to identify its original collection.

Why do Russian authorities not allow researchers unhindered access to documentation in a case that is sixty-five years old? Let us conduct an investigation that meets the standards of academic inquiry, with original documents presented in uncensored form, in their original file contexts, with research findings independently approved by a formal peer review. Only then can we begin to conduct a meaningful evaluation and discussion of Raoul Wallenberg’s fate.

September 27, 2011

Dr. Vadim Birstein
Susanne Berger

AP exclusive: Russian official questions date and cause of Holocaust hero Wallenberg’s death

26-09-2011, ed. Associated Press

Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews before vanishing into Soviet captivity, may have been alive after the official 1947 date of his death _ but only for a few days, says the chief archivist of Russia’s counterintelligence service.The disappearance of the 32-year-old Swedish diplomat is an abiding mystery of World War II. His defiance of the Nazis is commemorated worldwide in statues, in streets named for him and in postage stamps bearing his likeness, and to this day inspires scholarly articles, popular books and Hollywood movies.

It also has been a perpetual embarrassment for Moscow, which has failed to dislodge a stubborn belief, supported by credible if unsubstantiated evidence, that Wallenberg lived like a ghost in the Soviet gulag for up to four decades after his alleged death.

In a rare hourlong interview with The Associated Press, Lt. Gen. Vasily Khristoforov acknowledged that the Soviet version of Wallenberg’s death of a heart attack could have been fabricated and that his captors may have « helped him die. » He sought to counter accusations that his agency was hiding the truth, but his account and comments from independent researchers only underscored the possibility that the Wallenberg riddle will never be fully laid to rest.

Although he stopped short of discarding the official Soviet version of Wallenberg’s death, his remarks _ coming from a custodian of the country’s most closely guarded intelligence secrets _ represent a crack in the wall of official Russian reticence about Wallenberg. And while he didn’t cite any new evidence, the general said that his statements were based on his knowledge of materials related to the fate of numerous other victims of repression.

Khristoforov denied that the Russian Federal Security Service _ the successor to the KGB _ is withholding any information on Wallenberg, and said that all documentary evidence on the Swede likely was methodically destroyed in the 1950s to cover up his fate. Still, he said, his department was continuing to search the archives for clues.

He discounted numerous accounts by former prisoners who claimed to have seen Wallenberg, or someone who might have been him, in prison or in labor camps after his purported death. Independent researchers cite compelling reports of « sightings » of Wallenberg, identified by another name or only a number, as late as the 1980s.

« I consider all that to be a product of these people’s imagination, » the general said, insisting he was « 100 percent certain … that Wallenberg never was in any other prison, either under his name or an alias. »

Khristoforov spoke in response to allegations by two researchers last month that the Russian archives still conceal information on Wallenberg or people who came into contact with him. The accusations came after Moscow released new material about a German officer, Willy Roedel, who shared a prison cell with Wallenberg, although it was unrelated to the Swede himself.

« It’s naive to accuse us of concealing the existence of the interrogation protocols. There is a mix-up of things here, » he said. « There is no mention, not even a hint at Wallenberg in Roedel’s materials. »

He said the archives had kept some pages from Roedel’s newly released file classified for other reasons which he did not reveal.

Khristoforov confirmed a report published last year by Wallenberg researchers Susanne Berger and Vadim Birstein, who cited his agency as saying that the mysterious Prisoner No. 7, who was interrogated in Lubyanka, the prison of the Soviet secret police in Moscow, on July 23, 1947 could have been Wallenberg. The official version of Wallenberg’s death, given 10 years later, was that he died of a heart attack on July 17, 1947.

Khristoforov said he was « more than convinced that if he outlived the official date of his death, it could only have been by a few days. »
>More

Humanisten Raoul Wallenberg

19-09-2011, by Lars Brink, ed. Göteborgs Universitet

Titta på en akademisk kvart. Här kan du i efterhand se våra korta lunchföreläsningar. Humanisten Raoul Wallenberg. Lars Brink, doktorand i etnologi, Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper. Du kan också lyssna på föreläsningen som MP3 genom att högerklicka på länken till föreläsningen du vill ladda ner, välj ”Spara länk som…” och välj en plats på din hårddisk. Du kan därefter antingen öppna filen direkt från hårddisken eller föra över den till din mp3-spelare

Lyssna på föreläsningen:

British Intelligence (M16/SIS) Hungary nr 3; « Swedish Gold »

15-09-2011, by Catherine Schandl, ed. Lulu Books

In this third book in the trilogy about MI6 in World War II Budapest, the true secret of the Swedish Gold is revealed, and the shocking fates of the British agents connected to it. The head agent of British intelligence in World War II Budapest was a young Hungarian lawyer. His real name was Gabriel Szeleveny Haraszthy (or Gabor Haraszti/Haraszty). His code name was ALBERT. In 1940, he became an agent of His Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). His network had links to the OSS, Dutch underground, Special Operations Executive (SOE), Chetniks, Tito partisans, and more. ALBERT was not only the head agent of SIS (MI6) in Nazi-occupied Budapest, he was also the man in charge of the mysterious SWEDISH GOLD. He was believed to have been killed by the Soviets at the end of the war, but resurfaced decades later, to reveal his secret to one person only – the author of this book, who was also the daughter of Karoly Schandl, his “best undercover man.” >More

FSB releases new information on Raoul Wallenberg

10-08-2011, ed. The St Petersburg Time, The Associated Press

No official reason was ever given for Wallenberg’s arrest in 1945 in Budapest by the Soviet Red Army.

… »The Russians maintain that Wallenberg was executed July 17, 1947, but the working group said in its 2000 report there is strong evidence suggesting he lived many years as a prisoner under a different identity or known only by a number, perhaps as late as the 1980s.

From the start, researchers sought information about his known cellmates, including Roedel, a former political adviser to the German ambassador to Romania, but with little success.

Now, Roedel’s statements are included in a book, “Secrets of the Third Reich Diplomacy,” containing interrogation transcripts or protocols from about two dozen imprisoned German diplomats. It was published this year by archivists of the Federal Security Service, or FSB.

The statements predated Roedel’s two years as Wallenberg’s cellmate from March 1945 to March 1947, and their content sheds little new light on the Swede’s fate. But their mere existence is important, the researchers said.

During the working group’s investigation, Russian officials “routinely insisted that no records of Roedel’s interrogations had been preserved. Therefore, we were enormously surprised when we came across a new book,” they said.

These statements “are the clearest sign yet that Russian archives still contain critically important documents in the Wallenberg case that have not been released,” the researchers said. Roedel died under questionable circumstances in October 1947.

In the statements, Roedel describes the activities of Gustav Richter, a German police attache who worked with the Romanian government on “the Jewish question,” Berger and Birstein said. When Wallenberg was arrested, he was put in a cell with Richter for six weeks.

“Of course, it was intentional,” Berger said by e-mail. Richter would later be interrogated about Wallenberg, she said.

Roedel’s two statements, comprising about seven pages, were drawn from an unpublished 549-page investigative file, and their page numbers point to the possible existence of 57 more pages that the Russians have not released.

“These pages may include information about R.W.’s time in prison and possibly his future fate,” Berger said. “Ultimately, this shows that Russian officials cannot be believed when they say that they have no further documentation.”

The Federal Security Service did not immediately respond to questions submitted in writing on July 27 about the existence of the 57 pages that appear to be missing or about its decision to publish the Roedel transcripts now.

No official reason was ever given for Wallenberg’s arrest in January 1945 in Budapest by the Soviet Red Army.

During the previous six months, Wallenberg had distributed Swedish travel documents to about 20,000 Jews threatened with deportation to death camps, and dissuaded the Germans from their plan to obliterate the Budapest ghetto with 70,000 Jews. »…

More>

The diary about the fight to get back their son Raoul Wallenberg

04-08-2011,

The search of Raoul Wallenberg

Fredrik von Dardel began writing his diary in 1952 and continued right to the end of his life in 1979. Over the course of the next year, this website will publish the text of his diary in twelve installments, one every month, until August 4, 2012, Raoul Wallenberg’s 100th birthday. Each chapter will feature a short summary of events for respective years. We will also provide the necessary background information for mentioned persons and their role in the Wallenberg investigations. We invite the public and researchers to  comment on and to  discuss the contents of the diary.

« I first met my husband’s parents, Maj and Fredrik von Dardel, when Guy and I were about to be married, in 1949. For thirty long years I witnessed firsthand the old couple’s struggle  to pursue all possible leads about  their first-born son, Raoul Wallenberg.  And he was truly « their » son  – Fredrik’s loyalty and devotion to Raoul  was as strong as for his other children, Nina and Guy.

It took an enormous daily effort  to keep track of all the contacts and petitions, new and old pieces of information that needed to be itimized and catalogued before the age of computers.  It is due to Fredrik’s diligent efforts, with close assistance by Maj and Nina,  that we now have this very important historical document which allows a glimpse into Maj and Fredrik’s private world, their hard work, the many false hopes and disappointments they suffered and the toll the uncertainty about Raoul’s fate took on their lives.

I later watched my husband Guy  (and his sister Nina) carry on their parents’ work with the same devotion and with very similar struggles.

First and foremost, however, this record represents a  triumph of the will and I treasure it as a moving testament to the unshakable bonds of love and  family.

Matilda von Dardel »

The diary is in swedish, in .pdf:

Fredrik von Dardel

Fredrik Elias August, b. 28 Aug 1885,d.1979   Maria Sophia (Maj) von Dardel, né Wising, b. November 5, 1891, d. 1979

Fredrik och Maj von Dardel

He studied law at Uppsala University and received his degree in 1908. von Dardel  became Chief Administrative Officer of Karolinska Hospital in 1940. He retired in 1950; married to Maj Wallenberg, né Wising, in 1918. They had two children, Guy (b. 1919) and Nina (b. 1921) and together raised Maj’s son, Raoul G. Wallenberg (b. 1912), from her first marriage.

By all accounts, Fredrik von Dardel and Raoul Wallenberg, were very close. When his stepson turned eighteen, Fredrik offered Raoul to address him by his first name. Wallenberg asked to call him « Pappa » (Dad) instead.

After Raoul’s disappearance in 1945, Fredrik von Dardel took on the role of « ombudsman » for his affairs. For three decades he worked tirelessly to obtain full information about his stepson’s fate, gathering and analysing witness testimonies, and keeping in close contact with the Swedish Foreign Office to press diplomats to continue to pursue the case.

In 1970 he published a book  entitled « Facts Around A Fate » (« Fakta kring ett öde », Proprius Förlag) which outlined many of the most important witness testimonies in the Wallenberg investigation for the first time in public.

Fredrik von Dardel also kept detailed notes and a diary, chronicling the actions taken by the family on Raoul’s behalf.

At age 90, two years before his death, he petitioned the Swedish government to lift the secrecy restrictions that governed documentation in the Wallenberg case. The government instead decided to merely reduce the secrecy requirement from fifty to thirty years, which kept many important documents inaccessible to the family.

Maria Sophia (Maj) von Dardel

Daughter of  prominent Swedish physician Per Wising. Married Raoul Oscar Wallenberg in 1911.  Her husband fell ill and died of cancer before the birth of their  only child, Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg, who was born on August 4, 1912.

After raising her son alone for six years, she married Fredrik von Dardel, a lawyer, in 1918. After Raoul’s disappearance in 1945, she and her husband, as well as their two children, Guy and Nina, devoted their lives to secure his release from Soviet captivity.

Shortly after Raoul Wallenberg’s disappearance, she met with the Soviet Ambassador in Stockholm, Alexandra Kollontai. Kollontai told  Maj von Dardel that her son had been detained by Soviet forces but that he was well and that there was no cause for worry.

Through three decades, Maj kept up far a reaching correspondence, sending personal appeals to international political leaders, including Josef Stalin and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as human rights organisations and activists such as Simon Wiesenthal.

In 1973 she wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asking him to bring the influence of the U.S. government to bear in the case of her son, since his mission had been in large part conceived and supported by official U.S. entities such as the War Refugee Board. Kissinger never responded, even though the matter had been brought to his attention by his close associate Thomas Pickering.

 

Report: ‘Russia lied in Wallenberg probe’

02-08-2011, by David Landes, ed. the Local

A new book containing statements from a cellmate of missing Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg proves that Russian officials deliberately withheld information about the fate of the man credited with saving thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, researchers allege.

“They’ve been caught red handed,” historian Susanne Berger told The Local of the Russian actions.

“This ranks as one of the most significant findings in the Raoul Wallenberg case in the last 50 years.”

The new accusations of Russian deception regarding what happened to Wallenberg come following the publication of a new book, “Secrets of the Third Reich Diplomacy,” which contains interrogation transcripts from several Germandiplomats imprisoned by the Soviet Union following World War II, including Willy Rödel, who was Wallenberg’s long-term cellmate in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison from 1945-1947.

The book was published earlier this year by archivists of Russia‘s Federal Security Service (FSB)— the successor to the KGB.

Historian Vadim Birstein, a Russian-born researcher now based in the United States, who along with Berger served on the 1991 Swedish-Russian Working Group tasked with looking into Wallenberg’s disappearance, came across the book while researching SMERSH, the Soviet military counterintelligence active during the second part of World War II.

“I was very surprised to find Russian translations of two statements written by Rödel in the new book compiled by the FSB archivists,” Birstein told The Local.

“For years the FSB central archive wrote to Susanne Berger and me claiming that Rödel’s investigation file did not exist.” >More