Sweden, Russia Should Find Truth on Wallenberg

08-05-2013 , by S. Berger and V. Birstein , ed. The Moscow Time

Susanne Berger and Vadim Birstein write: « For a variety of reasons, the Swedish organizers decided to focus attention entirely on highlighting Wallenberg’s legacy, excluding almost completely the question of his fate. As a result, many observers feel that Sweden once again missed a golden opportunity to press the Russian authorities for answers. The approach was also troubling because it signaled that Sweden no longer considers solving the Wallenberg mystery important.

Just as perplexing is that Swedish officials continue to emphasize all the obstacles that  stand in the way of clarifying Wallenberg’s fate instead of energetically pursuing the many options that are available to investigators. Unfortunately, this position plays directly into the hands of President Vladimir Putin, who still shows only a limited willingness to properly reckon with the Soviet past. »

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One Response to “Sweden, Russia Should Find Truth on Wallenberg”

  1. Servus. dit :

    Was the GuLag an Archipelago ? De-convoyed prisoners and porous borders in the camps of Western Siberia. / by Wilson T. Bell. (Gulag-researcher) (Russian review /2013 January p. 117-141.) )

    Gulag was not that isolated as Solzhenitsyn described it. Many prisoners were permitted to move and even lived outside the camps. Many of the labor camps and colonies were located within limits of urban centers, as Novosibirsk, and Tomsk. But if not a archipe-lago – what was it ? Not excuse, but explaining is not excusing, understanding is not forgiving, the 20ths cruellest penal system. Existed for so long, because of lack of com-plete control, as happens during severely repression. Contrary to popular belief, the Gulag´s were porous.

    The de-convoyed prisoners, could visit cities, movies and theatres, and  » black market ». At least 10 % (low) post -1945. Khlevniuk is mentioned this, at the Moscow-Volga canal,(Dmit-lag). Uchtpechlag in Komi, ASSR, complained that 95 % of the inmates was de-convoyed. 1939-40, de-convoyed prisoners was accounted for 30-40% of the popu-lation in several large camp-complexes, causing some problems.

    In the Novosibirsk province, 12 and 8 %, 1947-48, average 11 % 1947. The Forest camps administration, (GULLP), 1947 used de-convoyed prisoners, 19%, of Ivzhk-vabasslag, and 16 % of Sevkuzbasslag. The Year, 1952, GULLP had 284.563 prisoners, 36.000 (12 %) were deconvoyed. 2.500 living outside the camps. Lack of information, important works, no special treatment. Most within the citylimits, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerevo, Stalinsk, and many not far from the Trans-Siberian railway. Many civilians could use the camps, facilities, as bath-houses, medical stations, and the de-convoyed sold clothings to the civilian, and they became dressed as prisoners, padded jackets etc.

    Not the stereotypical concentration camps,, impossible to escape, prisoners worked in building industry, artillery-industry,(No 179) Novosibirsk, Chkalov Aviation. 1938/39,
    § 58 « anti-soviet » crimes, 35 %, the rest  » daily-life crimes », late for job, left the job without permission, (during the war, but the latter seemed not to have been punished that effectively.) Gulag even was part of the main penal system, for criminals, but § 58, seldom , came close to a majority of the prisoner population.

    Like a parole, even in Vorkuta, living outside the camp, a way to re-integration, lack of guards, economic needs, faster camp production, agriculture, forestry, works, drivers, and much , not possible to keep under a close watch. Millions of prisoners received their release, during the Stalin era.

    Gulag was an integrated part of the society, by intention. Even § 58-prisoners could be de-convoyed, « the Bosses » could be far away. Gulag was more flexible than a concen-tration camp. Many of it´s islands, in certain areas, were not islands, but part of the mainland, the two worlds did in fact intermingle, this contradicts Solzhenitsyn, and there may not have been « two worlds at all, but one – due to W.T. Bell, in the Russian Review.

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