Raoul Wallenberg and Mellaneuropeiska — Swedish economic “agents” in World War II

02-12-2016, by Vadim Birstein, Susanne Berger,

Raoul Wallenberg and his company fulfilled an important role in the Swedish official “Economic Defense Readiness” program (Rikskommissionen för Ekonomisk Försvarsberedskap). The fact that the Swedish military and its respective intelligence services oversaw this program may explain the claims that Wallenberg functioned as an agent of Swedish intelligence during World War II.

Many details of Raoul Wallenberg’s life, especially regarding his personal and professional background, remain unknown. Over the years, the information has been blended out by journalists, historians and researchers, as they distilled the essence of the Wallenberg story into its current, rather generalized form. Some of the lost facets of the story may not only help to explain the official handling of the case by Swedish and Russian authorities over the years, but may also provide helpful clues for the future investigation of Wallenberg’s fate.afds

See more on Vadim Birstein’s website

Gaps and questions about the Raoul Wallenberg’s Fate at the Moscow Times

30-09-2016, by Daria Litvinova,

Soviet Prisoner No. 7: The Mysterious Case of Raoul Wallenberg

Relatives are still trying to piece together the story of what happened to a Swedish diplomat abducted during World War II.

This year researchers might be closer than ever to obtaining answers. On Sept. 21, Wallenberg’s nieces Marie Dupuy and Louise von Dardel traveled to Moscow with a group of researchers and lawyers to meet with Russian officials and submit the list of questions, important documents and testimonies required to fill in the gaps of what is now known as the Wallenberg case. They met with the Foreign Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB, successor of the KGB) officials and were promised full cooperation and all the archival data needed to solve the mystery.

Read more at Moscow Times

Raoul Wallenberg and Ivan Serov’s Memoir “Notes from a Suitcase”

13-09-2016, by Vadim Birstein, ed. http://www.vbirstein.com

An excellent article about Serov’s Memoir on the historian and scientist’s Vadim Birstein’s website:

I have … some doubts in the authenticity of this document [Ivan Serov’s memoir]. It could have been created later, and could have had no relationship to Serov. It is hard to say.
— 
Boris Sokolov, Russian historian, interview on July 14, 2016[1]

The word “killed” has never appeared in any official documents [about Raoul Wallenberg] released from the Soviet side, according to Nikita Petrov, a historian with the Memorial organization in Moscow who specializes in the Stalinist era and Serov himself.[2]

The book [Serov’s memoir] is full of distortions and omissions of important facts.
— Gurdrun Persson, Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages, Stockholm University, from En bra rysk story – om vi bara kunde lita på den

Read more>

En bra rysk story – om vi bara kunde lita på den

09-09-2016, by Gudrun Persson, ed. Utrikesmagasinet.se

I somras kom en bok ut i Ryssland med sensationella uppgifter om Raoul Wallenbergs död. Det sades vara resultatet av att den tidigare KGB-chefen Ivan Servos dagböcker skulle ha hittats. Men bland ryska forskare är de föregivna memoarernas äkthet omtvistade. Och när Gudrun Persson, Rysslandsexpert och docent vid Slaviska institutionen på Stockholms universitet, får boken i sin hand växer hennes skepsis.

 

Läs mer: http://www.utrikesmagasinet.se/kronikor/2016/september/en-bra-rysk-story–om-vi-bara-kunde-lita-pa-den/

Russia and Raoul Wallenberg: Unfinished business

14-08-2016, by Inna Rogatchi,

The Presidential Archive and Its Closed Envelopes

In 1990, Russian president Boris Yeltsyn did quite unusual for the Soviet and post-Soviet ruler deed: he admitted the guilt of the Soviet regime. The matter was the massacre of the Polish officers in Katyn by the Soviets in 1941. Yeltsyn was courageous enough to hand to the Polish side highly classified documents from the Presidential Archive, specifically designated body to keep the most sensitive documents throughout the Soviet history safely locked there.

If there is something that Russian authorities are still keeping on Raoul Wallenberg case, the file, most likely, is to be at this very place.

At the time of establishing The Presidential Archive in 1991, in incredible haste and complete chaos amidst collapsing Soviet Union, the main thinking about it was to grab and remove the most important cases – as Katyn massacre and presumably Wallenberg case – from all existing in late Soviet Union archives, including those of the KGB and military intelligence, into the one place, to seal all the most sensitive secrets, and subordinate those explosive materials placed in large sealed envelopes to the only person who would be the arbiter on whenever to unseal the envelopes in question, when, and under which circumstances. That person would be a president of the Russian Federation.

I was a witness of the process, as I was working on many of hastily de-classified for a short period of time documents from all periods of the Soviet Union in a strong team of international researches and diplomats. We regularly saw the documents of extra-ordinary importance piled in disorder all over deserted compound of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Moscow.

We have learned that the Presidential Archive has been established in a hot panic that overwhelmed the Soviet leaders at the abrupt end of the regime. We were explained by readily co-operative and palpably nervous men that the idea of the Presidential Archive is to make it small, compact and easily movable; so only the cases of the extra-ordinary importance had been selected there.

We have learned on the documents with four degrees of secrecy, with stamps on the pages of the originals: Secret ( secretno in Russian), Completely Secret ( sovershenno secretno ), Special Importance ( osobaja vazhnost ) , Special File ( osobaja papka ). The documents bearing all four stamps on its front page were at sole disposal of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, the nerve centre of the Soviet regime.

Yet atop of that, there is also documentation of a superior secrecy. Such documents are stored in a form of sealed packages and this highest form of secrecy in Russia is known as ‘sealed package’. Those packages are numbered. The Katyn package had number 1 written on it by hand. The package that contains the original materials on the Soviet-German pact preceding the Second World War is known as package 34 – which Mr Gorbachev

wanted to destroy, according to his closest aides who did not dare to do such a thing.

The envelope with what’s left in the Wallenberg dossier should be among those numbered sealed packages. In 2000, after the decade of hardly fruitful co-operation of the Russian-Swedish Raoul Wallenberg Working Commission, the Russian officials provided their Swedish counter-parts with the document that meant to be the proof that they did everything possible in order to trace the existing documentation on the case. The document was a protocol of the supposed to be a nation-wide search for the documents related to the Wallenberg case in all Russian archives. All of them, except the Presidential Archive.

There are repeated claims by the Russian officials insisting that the Wallenberg File was destroyed. In the realities of the Soviet security apparatus, however, it was hardly possible to destroy an entire file, a cache of documents. In all probability, such exceptional documents as the original of the letter that poor Raoul had written to Stalin from his cell at the Lubjanka prison, would not have been destroyed under any circumstances.

The idea of establishing in 1991 the archive of inaccessible documents in rapidly collapsing Soviet Union had been quite useful for the country’s leadership, seemingly. In the case of Raoul Wallenberg, it did work for twenty five years by now. Being added to forty six previous years, from the Russian perspective, it worked for them for 71 year and 8 months.

In August 2016, international media has reprinted basically one story about published in Russia in May 2016 diaries of Ivan Serov, notorious head of the KGB and GRU in 1950s and early 1960s, claiming  it as ‘the discovery that would end the mystery of Raoul Wallenberg in Russia’.  It is hasty and naive reaction, playing on the Russian authorities’ hand perfectly.

More > http://rogatchifilms.org/inna-rogatchi-writings/russia-raoul-wallenberg-unfinished-business/

 

General Ivan Serov’s memoirs

15-06-2016, by Marie Dupuy,

The recently published memoirs of the former KGB Chairman, General Ivan Serov, based on his personal notes and entitled “Notes from a Suitcase: Secret Diaries of the First KGB Chairman, Found Over 25 Years after His Death,” with comments by Aleksandr Khinshtein (Moscow, 2016), contain a number of claims and statements about the alleged fate of Raoul Wallenberg and about the possible reasons for his arrest and detention.

 

Of particular interest is Gen. Serov’s assertion that in the Wallenberg case file he supposedly saw a so-called Certificate (“Akt”) of Cremation for Raoul Wallenberg’s remains, signed by two officials of Lubyanka Prison, — Chief Warden Aleksandr Mironov and Lubyanka’s Commandant (Chief Executioner) Vasilii Blokhin, — in 1947. However, while interrogated, Blokhin supposedly stated that he and his staff had no connection to “Wallenberg’s liquidation” – at least, he did not remember anything about that.

 

Also of interest is Serov’s statement that the  former State Security Minister Viktor Abakumov, who was arrested in July 1951  and who had been in charge of the Wallenberg case, was allegedly interrogated in 1953 or 1954 by Col. Aleksandr Kozyrev, then acting head of the MVD Department on Investigation of Especially Important Cases. In this interrogation Abakumov presumably confirmed that Raoul Wallenberg, in fact, was “liquidated” on direct orders of Stalin and Molotov.

 

I am therefore filing a request with the FSB Central Archives to present this documentation, which has not been made available to us during previous investigations of the Wallenberg case.

 

However, numerous questions remain about the source material, which must be thoroughly evaluated before any firm conclusions can be drawn. The original  notes in Serov’s diary regarding Raoul Wallenberg were not reproduced. It appears that some parts of Gen. Serov’s recollections about the Wallenberg case were prompted by telephone calls to his home in 1987 (at the age of 82). It is currently unclear if in his final account of the Wallenberg case he relied on any original documents or earlier notes from his diary. It is also unclear if some of the details appeared during the editorial work on the notes before publication.

 

Furthermore, it is very surprising that Gen. Serov does not recount his central role in the drafting of the so-called “Gromyko Memorandum” in the years 1955-1957.

 

Finally, his notes include a number of factual errors which cast some doubt on the reliability of at least part of his recollections.

 

Marie Dupuy

Raoul Wallenberg’s niece