New in the Raoul Wallenberg Case
May 12, 2018
Swedish Foreign Minister reviews one-shelf meter of classified documents in the Raoul Wallenberg case for release
By Susanne Berger
We have received news that Berndt Fredriksson, the former head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Department of Secrecy has been appointed by the Swedish Foreign Ministry to assist in the review of the documentation that remains currently classified regarding the Raoul Wallenberg case, so that it can now be released, in response to our research application. Mr. Fredriksson indicated that previous statements made by Swedish officials that essentially no records remain classified was a “misunderstanding”. According to Mr. Fredriksson's estimate, altogether about one shelf-meter (hyllmeter) of documents fall into this category. The material apparently encompasses documentation from the Swedish-Russian Working Group of the 1990s and other deposits.
It is impossible to say how significant the documentation will turn out to be for the ongoing inquiry, but it certainly constitutes an interesting and important development. Just as important as the release of these papers will be for Raoul Wallenberg’s family and researchers to obtain access to the various collections we have requested to review within the archive of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We did so in a separate letter sent to Foreign Minister Wallström at the end of March. Our hope now is that other Swedish archives will follow suit and release additional records related to the Wallenberg case from their holdings.
May 5, 2018
Mikael Oscarsson challenged Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs to debate the Wallenberg case
By Susanne Berger
Last month, Mikael Oscarsson a member of the Swedish Riksdag, challenged Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, to a debate in Parliament. Oscarsson posed two questions: Does documentation regarding the Wallenberg case remain classified in the archives of the Swedish government, and especially those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? And what consultations has the Swedish government conducted with Russian authorities regarding the Raoul Wallenberg case over the last decades?
In her reply, Foreign Minister Wallström indicated that while all documentation up until 1971 have been declassified, a set of records remain classified in the Wallenberg case for the years 1971 - 2018. She cited "Swedish interests" and "foreign relations" as reasons for the continued secrecy. Ms Wallström did not directly answer Mr. Oscarsson's second question but stressed that the Swedish government "will continue to work to ensure the utmost clarity in the matter of Raoul Wallenberg's fate. We do this in our contacts with Russia, for example. Contacts with Russia about Raoul Wallenberg in the last decades have intended to obtain additional information on outstanding issues and to achieve the greatest possible openness from the Russian side."
During the ensuing discussion, Mr. Oscarsson repeatedly asked Foreign Minister Wallström when the Swedish Foreign Ministry last had officially asked the Russian government for full clarification about the identity of Prisoner no.7 and for declassification of the relevant entries in the interrogation registers of the Internal (Lubyanka) Prison. [Prisoner no. 7 was interrogated for 16 1/2 hours on July 23, 1947, together with Raoul Wallenberg's driver Vilmos Langfelder. Archivists of the Russian State Security Service (FSB) stated in 2009 that this prisoner "with great likelihood was the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg." If true, it would mean Raoul Wallenberg was alive six days after his official death date of July 17, 1947, provided by Soviet/Russian authorities]
Ms Wallström was unable to answer the question. According to the information available to researchers and Raoul Wallenberg's immediate family, such an official Swedish request was last presented to the Russian government six years ago, in 2012. If this is indeed so, it would mean that - in spite of Ms Wallström’s official insistence on the continued importance of solving the full circumstances of Wallenberg’s fate - the Swedish Foreign Ministry has done little to press the Russian side directly for answers regarding one of the most important leads to develop in the Wallenberg case in decades.
March 25, 2018
The family of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg seeks answers to lingering questions about his fate with a new inquiry in Sweden
By Susanne Berger (Washington) and Dr. Vadim Birstein
In 1981, the Israeli government asked the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to keep specific records pertaining to the Raoul Wallenberg investigation secret, for fear they could reveal information about Israel's extensive intelligence network behind the Iron Curtain. Did other countries, including the U.S. and Russia, make similar arrangements with Sweden? And did Swedish officials ever approach Russia and other foreign entities to keep specific information concerning the Wallenberg case classified in their archives? Members of Raoul Wallenberg's family are seeking answers to these and other questions from Swedish authorities with a new inquiry.
"Дело Валленберга: что скрывает Лубянка спустя 70 лет?"
Interview of Nikita Petrov, BBC-News
Jan 24, 2017
Ros-Lehtinen, Lowey Seek Answers Into 72 Year-Old Mystery, Introduce Bipartisan Measure Regarding the Fate of Raoul Wallenberg
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, made the following statement after introducing H.Res. 58 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding unanswered questions into the fate of Raoul Wallenberg. Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Lowey were joined in introducing this bipartisan resolution by Reps. Pete Roskam (R-IL), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Kay Granger (R-TX). Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“For over 70 years, the mystery of what really happened to Raoul Wallenberg has haunted the memories of his loved ones, of the countless he saved from the horrors of the Holocaust, and of the many who have fought tirelessly to uncover the truth. We have honored his courage and his humanitarian spirit over the years, and now we have a chance to honor his memory by bringing closure to this tragedy. I want to personally thank Marie Dupuy and Louise von Dardel, nieces of Raoul Wallenberg, for their cooperation and support for this initiative and for continuing the tireless efforts of Raoul’s parents, Maj and Fredrik von Dardel. I also want to thank the many, many researchers and volunteers who have never stopped seeking the truth, particularly Dr. Vadim Birstein and Susanne Berger. It is my most sincere hope that this resolution will help finally resolve one of the most tragic mysteries of the 20th century by bringing it the attention it deserves.