Next year marks the 100th birthday of one of the 20th century’s most admired figures: Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews from Nazi persecution in World War II Hungary only to be swallowed up himself in 1945 by Stalin’s Gulag. Although Soviet leaders claimed in 1957 that Wallenberg had died suddenly in the Lubyanka prison on July 17, 1947, the full circumstances of his fate in Soviet captivity have never been established.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, the current chief of the Federal Security Service’s registration and archives directorate, Lieutenant General Vasily Khristoforov, emphasized that he, too, considers Wallenberg a hero and that FSB officials are doing everything to uncover more documentation. He strongly denied withholding any information that would shed light on the truth.
Yet it is indisputable that Russian officials for decades chose to mislead not only the general public but also an official Swedish-Russian Working Group that investigated the case from 1991-2001. This group included official Swedish representatives as well as Raoul Wallenberg’s brother, Guy von Dardel. Russia did not merely obscure inconsequential details of the case but also failed to provide documentation that goes to the very heart of the Wallenberg inquiry.
Chief among these are copies of the Lubyanka prison register from July 23, 1947. They show that a “Prisoner No. 7” was questioned on that day, six days after Wallenberg’s alleged death. Russian officials have since acknowledged that “Prisoner No. 7” almost certainly was Wallenberg. Researchers have yet to receive a copy of the full page of this Lubyanka interrogation register, in uncensored form, showing the complete list of interrogated prisoners and other details.Read More »The FSB Should Open Up the Wallenberg File