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Roedel’s two statements, comprising about seven pages, were drawn from an unpublished 549-page investigative file, and their page numbers point to the possible existence of 57 more pages that the Russians have not released.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

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