02 August 2011
Russian authorities have not responded to requests for more information on the case of the late Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved many Hungarian Jews from the Nazi onslaught during World War II and later disappeared. The requests by the US news agency ‘Associated Press’ and the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants came in the aftermath of the release of a new book released by the Russian government on Wallenberg.
He was arrested by the Soviet Union in 1945 and Soviet officials said he was executed in 1947. However, scholars and family members insist that Wallenberg lived in the state-run gulag camps for decades after he was declared dead. Academics investigating the disappearance of Wallenberg for years have requested tapes of Roedel’s interrogation, but the Russians have maintained that such tapes never existed.
Roedel’s published statements predate his introduction to Wallenberg, but focus on his relationship with Gustav Richter, a German police attaché who was Wallenberg’s cellmate for the first six weeks of his arrest.
While the new information does little to explain the fate of Wallenberg, it suggests that the Russians may have more information on the diplomat's life than has been made public. Susanne Berger of the Swedish-Russian 'Searching for Raoul Wallenberg' group tasked with determining what happened to the Swedish diplomat said that although Roedel had made no mention of Wallenberg in the documents, the papers came from an intelligence file that the FSB, the successor organization of the KGB, had always denied possessing.
Berger said it was almost certain other papers in the file contained information on Wallenberg. "The new material is not just an individual note; it is taken from an intelligence file we were told did not exist. From the page numbering it is clear that the Russians have intentionally withheld 57 pages. It is apparent that when they say they don't have something, they actually do. There is intentional censorship."
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