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JewishJournal.com

August 1, 2011

Russians mum on requests for Wallenberg info

http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/russians_mum_on_requests_for_wallenberg_info_20110801

Passport photograph of Raoul Wallenberg. Sweden, June 1944.

Passport photograph of Raoul Wallenberg. Sweden, June 1944.

Russian authorities have failed to respond to requests for more information on the Raoul Wallenberg case.

The requests by The 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.

“Secrets of the Third Reich Diplomacy,” which was released earlier this year, contains quotes from the interrogation of Willy Roedel, a German officer who shared a cell with Wallenberg. Roedel was arrested by the Soviets after World War II.

Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who helped tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews escape persecution during World War II. He was arrested by the Soviet Union in 1945 and Soviet officals 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 attache 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 does suggest that the Russians may have more information on the diplomat’s life than have been made public. Roedel’s statements were pulled from an unpublished 549-page file that appears to have 57 unreleased pages.

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