JBD

 

Jan 2001 Journal

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Wallenberg’s execution confirmed

Swedish war hero and Budapest diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, in January 1945 set out to meet the commander of the victorious Soviet army, Marshal Malinovsky, but was arrested by his troops near Debrecen in eastern Hungary. Nothing further was ever heard of him either by neutral Sweden or the western Allies. In 1944 and 1945 he was reputed to have saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from deportation to Auschwitz. Evidence now being revealed from the archives of Stalin’s secret police puts the issue of Wallenberg’s fate beyond any reasonable doubt; he was executed by the Soviet régime in the Lubyanka prison in 1947.

A member of Sweden’s leading banking and business family, in 1944 aged only 32, Raoul Wallenberg was posted as First Secretary to their embassy in Nazi-occupied Budapest from where Hungary’s entire Jewish population were rapidly being deported. His energetic efforts to organise 32 safe houses under the Swedish flag and to issue Schutzpässe saved as many as 100,000 of the 230,000 Jews remaining in the city.

Alexander Yakovlev, former aide to Mikhail Gorbachev in the promotion of glasnost, now in charge of the archives documenting Stalin’s terror, has said that Wallenberg was arrested, made a prisoner of war, convicted on charges of being an American spy and executed. It was anticipated that he would soon be officially rehabilitated by President Putin.
Ronald Channing

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