Sweden launches probe into fate of Holocaust hero

Decision to investigate the case of Raoul Wallenberg comes as Sweden commemorates 100th anniversary of his birth.

By REUTERS
January 18, 2012 19:45
1 minute read.
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.

raoul wallenberg 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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STOCKHOLM - Sweden has commissioned a new inquiry into the fate of Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis during World War Two but disappeared after being arrested by advancing Soviet troops in 1945.

The decision on the new probe into the Swedish diplomat came as Sweden this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of his birth.

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Anna Charlotta Johansson, spokeswoman for Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, said the probe would be conducted by Hans Magnusson, a diplomat who led a joint Swedish-Russian group in 1991-2001 that tried to find out what happened to Wallenberg.

The probe "would look into whether there is any new information available, or that can be found, on what happened to Raoul Wallenberg."

Russia has said Wallenberg was found dead in his cell in Moscow in July 17 1947, but no evidence for that has been published.

Independent researchers say there is proof he was alive days later and that he may well have lived longer, but that Russia has persistently denied access to files that may shed light, and that Sweden has not put enough pressure on Russia.

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Bildt said too little was done to save the hero while it might still have been possible.

"The Swedish government's lack of involvement after Raoul Wallenberg was captured and taken to the infamous Lubyanka prison in Moscow is both embarrassing and painful," he said on Tuesday in Budapest in connection with the opening of an exhibition on Wallenberg's deeds.

Wallenberg saved Jews in Budapest mainly by boosting issuance of Swedish protective passports and offering shelter in buildings he bought and proclaimed Swedish territory.

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