Wallenberg is credited with rescuing thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. Since the 1950s, Soviet officials maintained that Wallenberg died in prison in Moscow on July 17, 1947, citing a letter from a prison doctor as evidence, although his death remained unconfirmed.
Archives at the Russian Federal Security Service, the successor of the Soviet KGB, revealed that a particular “Prisoner nr 7” at Lubyanka prison was “with greatest likelihood” a Swede. And the prisoner in question, according to the documents, was interrogated on July 23, 1947.
Historians interviewed by Fokus are excited about the discovery, which they believe might lead to additional information on the same prisoner. Sweden’s ambassador to Russia, Tomas Bertelman, has requested further clarification from the Federal Security Service.
In 1944, a representative of the War Refugee Board, an organisation established by American president President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was dispatched to Stockholm to ask Wallenberg to assist in their wartime efforts to save Hungarian Jews.
Wallenberg was appointed as the First Secretary to the Swedish legation to Budapest. He saved thousands of lives by issuing protective passports and offering immunity to Jews in the Hungarian capital.
When Soviet troops invaded eastern Budapest in 1945, Wallenberg was arrested and transported to Moscow. It is believed the Russians thought he was an American agent since his assignment had originated with an American organisation.