Unraveling Raoul Wallenberg’s Secrets

19-05-2008 , by John Nadler , ed. Time.com

John Nadler at Time.com writes; « The report issued by the Swedish-Russian Working Group in 2000 listed 17 questions that need to be addressed by the Russian government before Wallenberg’s fate can be determined. In the eight years since, not a single question has been answered.

« I don’t buy that [the Russians] don’t know, » says researcher Mesinai. « I do buy that they have a complexity of reasons for not producing the files » that would solve the mystery. According to Marvin Makinen, a University of Chicago Professor who was a member of the Swedish-Russian Working Group, the Russians could be holding back because the truth about Wallenberg may still be dangerous.

« One reason [for keeping this secret] is that there is someone alive who was part of the Soviet government who participated in the decisions about Wallenberg, and would be held accountable if the truth got out, » Makinen told TIME. He can think of few other reasons why the Russians are unwilling to cooperate in resolving the issue — particularly if it believes the official Soviet account of Wallenberg’s death is the truth.

But researchers also fault Sweden for failing to insist that Moscow release the information that would resolve the issue. « We know for sure that there is plenty of important documentation in Russian archives we have not seen at all, » says Berger. « And, for whatever reasons, Sweden is not pushing very hard to get access to it. »

So why do the researchers persist, in the face of such stonewalling, more than six decades after Wallenberg disappeared?

« It’s a question of principle, » says Berger. « Millions of people suffered and died in Soviet captivity. Raoul Wallenberg is symbolic of all these people. It’s like Wallenberg’s brother once said: ‘Yes, millions died, but I want to know about this one.' » -> More
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