May 29, 2012
Russia Denies It's Hiding Details Of Holocaust Hero Raoul
Raoul Wallenberg is credited with saving
thousands of Jews in Budapest during the Nazi occupation
by giving them Swedish travel papers or moving them to safe
houses. The Swedish diplomat was arrested by the Soviet
Red Army more than six decades ago. His fate has been a
mystery ever since.
On Monday, the chief archivist of Russia's counterintelligence
service said the agency will continue searching for clues
about his fate.
In an interview, Lt.-Gen. Vasily Khristoforov told The
Associated Press that the Federal Security Service, a successor
of the KGB, had no reason to hide information about what
happened to Wallenberg.
"Believe me, had such an information been known to
us, the Russia archivists would have been the first to publish
and show it," he told the AP. "When some people
say that we are defending the pride of the uniform ... it's
ridiculous. This is another state and a different special
The Red Army arrested Wallenberg in 1945. Until 1957, the
Soviets denied he was in their custody. But that year, they
said he died in prison July 17, 1947, of a heart attack.
More from the AP:
"The Russian government has never formally retracted
the initial Soviet version, but some officials acknowledged
that Wallenberg likely had been killed. In 2000, Alexander
Yakovlev, the one-time chairman of a presidential panel
investigating the fate of repression victims, said he had
been told by a former KGB chief that Wallenberg was killed
in Lubyanka prison. That year, Russia also conceded that
Soviet authorities had wrongfully persecuted Wallenberg
and posthumously rehabilitated him as a victim of political
Khristoforov told the AP his agency and colleagues had
no reason to gloss over the record of Soviet dictator Joseph
Stalin ad his dreaded NKVD secret police.
"I doubt that any of the Federal Security Service
officers today would associate himself with the NKVD and
would try to defend the uniform of the NKVD," he said.
"That's why this argument doesn't stand criticism."
Khristoforov was participating in a conference that included
researchers from Hungary, Israel, Sweden and Russia. The
AP reports that some speakers urged the FSB, as the Federal
Security Service is known, to give independent researchers
access to Wallenberg-related papers.