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2010

Game Changer – FSB’s Surprising New Information About The Fate of Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg

  • Susanne Berger and Vadim Birstein

Since 2001, Dr. Vadim Birstein  and Susanne Berger have maintained a regular exchange with the archives of the Russian Federal Security Services (FSB) about still pending questions in the case of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who disappeared in the Soviet Union in 1945. For decades Soviet and later Russian authorities have claimed that Wallenberg died in Lubyanka prison in Moscow on July 17, 1947.  The most recent discussions focused mainly on documentation that remains heavily censored. Among this material are the interrogation registers for Lubyanka prison for 1947. This past November, FSB archivists stated that they now believe that a Prisoner No. 7 who was interrogated on July 23, 1947, “with great likehood” was Raoul Wallenberg. If true, it would mark the first time Russian officials have publicly admitted that all previous statements about Wallenberg’s fate were incorrect.

The new information provided by the FSB Archives in November 2009  is two things for sure: Utterly surprising and at the same time maddeningly incomplete. People have repeatedly asked us: What difference do six days make? What does it matter that, according to FSB archivists, Raoul Wallenberg may have been alive six days after July 17, 1947, the day that Soviet and Russian authorities for five decades have claimed to be  his almost certain death date?

Well, if indeed confirmed, it matters quite a bit. Yes, the  revelations may ultimately turn out to postpone Wallenberg’s presumed death only by six days, but they also potentially cast the case in a whole new light.

For one, it opens up the conversation about Wallenberg’s fate that has been essentially dormant since 2001, when the Swedish-Russian Working Group, that had investigated the Wallenberg question from 1991-2001, presented its final report. While the Swedish side stressed that plenty of unresolved questions remained about what exactly happened to Raoul Wallenberg in Soviet captivity, especially when and how he had actually died, the Russian side took a much stronger position: Circumstantial evidence, it declared in its  conclusions,  left no other possibility than that of Wallenberg’s death  on July 17, 1947. The only concession made by Russian officials at the time was that Wallenberg death was in all likelihood not attributable to natural causes, but to secret execution.

The new information provided by FSB now offers important additional avenues of exploration, in part by elucidating older facts in the case.  As prisoners under official investigation, Prisoner No. 7 (Wallenberg?) and Vilmos Langfelder, Wallenberg’s driver were subjected to 16 long hours of interrogation on July 23, 1944. Langfelder claimed his personal possessions, including his money, the next day. So far we do not know if Prisoner No. 7 (Wallenberg?) did the same. This would be a most important indication that he too survived.

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Begär klarläggande

  • Susanne Berger

Under decennier har sovjetiska och därefter ryska myndigheter hävdat att Raoul Wallenberg dog i Lubjankafängelset i Moskva den 17 juli 1947. Men i november 2009 uppgav arkivarier vid den ryska Federala säkerhetstjänstens FSB att de nu tror att en Fånge… Read More »Begär klarläggande

Paul A Levine: ”Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. Myth, History and Holocaust”

  • Ingrid Carlberg

Ingrid Carlberg skriver för Dagens Nyheter; “I Sverige har mycket av det som skrivits om Raoul Wallenberg handlat om tiden efter den här ödesdigra januaridagen. Uppmärksamheten har kretsat kring efterforskningarna och mer eller mindre sannolika vittnesmål inifrån Gulag. Förvånansvärt få svenska historiker och författare har gripit sig an berättelsen om hans gärning i Budapest, i alla fall med något större sakdjup. Faktum är att de flesta böcker om personen Raoul Wallenberg har skrivits och publicerats utomlands, i första hand i USA.

Därför är Paul A Levines bok om Raoul Wallenberg i Budapest efterlängtad. Levine väljer att sätta punkt i januari 1945. Han koncentrerar sig i huvudsak på de sex månader som amatördiplomaten Raoul Wallenberg hann tillbringa i Budapest före fångenskapen. Levine ger också sin bild av bakgrunden till att just Raoul Wallenberg sattes att leda en i Förintelsens elfte timme framhastad, och synnerligen okonventionell, svensk amerikansk räddningsaktion för de ungerska judarna.Read More »Paul A Levine: ”Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. Myth, History and Holocaust”

Karoly William Schandl

  • Catherine Schandl

Karoly William Schandl was born in Budapest, Hungary on July 20, 1912. His father, Karoly Schandl Sr., was a lifetime member of the Hungarian Upper House and the president of OKH (Országos Központi Hitelszövetkezet), the National Credit Cooperative.

In 1944, Karoly William Schandl was a lawyer and chartered accountant. His residence was the upstairs apartment of his parents’ villa, at 16-18 Kelenhegyi ut (Street). The Schandl home on Kelenhegyi Street was next door to the Finnish embassy, which was also used by the Swedish legation. Raoul Wallenberg’s Swedish embassy was located a double house lot away. Karoly was hiding a Jewish friend in his apartment, and was a member of the British underground. His group was led by his best friend, Gabor Haraszty, a Hungarian lawyer of Jewish origin and trained British agent. Gabor’s ISLD (SIS) code name was ALBERT. He was also connected to MI9. The group helped those who needed to escape, and was engaged in gathering military intelligence for the Allies. Secret meetings with Gabor Haraszty were held at Karoly’s private apartment, and sometimes those meetings were attended by Raoul Wallenberg.Read More »Karoly William Schandl

Raoul Wallenberg and his killers

  • Vladimir Abarinov

Google translation from russia. Rearranged by Maribeth Barber.

Raoul Wallenberg. Was prisoner number 7?

Radio Liberty published a letter from independent researchers Vadim Birstein and Suzanne Berger, a qualitatively new turn in the case of Raoul Wallenberg. Additional details of the case – in a conversation with one of the authors of the letter Vadim Birstein.

Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews in 1944 by issuing  protective passports to so-called “Swedish subjects” awaiting repatriation to their homeland. After the capture of Budapest by Soviet troops, he was arrested and taken to Moscow, where he was kept in the MGB inner prison in the Lubyanka. For many years, Stockholm unsuccessfully tried to discover the prisoner’s fate. In February 1957, Moscow officially made it known to the Swedish government that Wallenberg had died of a myocardial infarction on July 17, 1947, in Lubyanka Prison.  In support of this version the Soviets presented a document–a report from the chief of the medical unit inside the prison, Smoltsov, addressed to Interior Minister Viktor Abakumov. This version did not satisfy the Wallenberg family, which holds high social status in Sweden.

In 1990, Vadim Birstein and current chairman of the Memorial Society, Arseny Roginsky, gained access to some of the archival collections of the MGB-KGB. In April 1991, I, as editor of the international department of the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, published an article by Vadim Birstein « The Mystery of the Prisoner number seven« , which presented the preliminary results of the study and questioned the official Soviet account of Wallenberg’s death. Subsequently, Moscow and Stockholm agreed to continue the work of the bilateral commission. However, in 2001, the Commission concluded that the search ended in a stalemate, and ceased to exist.

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The Angel of Faith

  • Ari Bussel

Ari Bussel writes at News Blaze; “For his 97th birthday, just a few months ago, the leading Swedish daily newspaper had an investigative piece to report to the Swedish nation and the world: Israelis are harvesting organs of Palestinians (males… Read More »The Angel of Faith