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July 1989

Will Gorbachev Find World War II’s Long-Lost POWs?

    Mikhail Gorbachev just took an extraordinary first step in stripping away the lies of the Stalinist regime concerning the fate of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, the hero who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis.Last month, Yuri Kashlev, the chief Soviet negotiator at a Paris human rights conference, said the Soviet Union has no evidence that Mr. Wallenberg is dead. No witnesses, no documentation. Thus did the Gorbachev government cast doubt on the official Soviet explanation, devised by Stalin’s lieutenants, that Mr. Wallenberg died in 1947 while in a Soviet prison. (Many former Soviet prisoners have reported seeing Mr. Wallenberg as recently as 1987.)Mr. Kashlev went even further. He indicated that a new investigation is under way into Mr. Wallenberg’s disappearance while in Soviet custody at the end of World War II.