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Behind the Headlines New Turn on Missing Person Case

The longest running “missing person” case of the century has taken a new turn with an exchange of notes between Sweden and the Soviet Union. Sweden recently asked the USSR to make new inquiries about the fate of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat imprisoned in the Soviet Union towards the end of World War II after saving thousands of Jews from Auschwitz.

The Russians, with ill-concealed anger, repeated their argument, used for the past 22 years, that Wallenberg died of a heart attack in Moscow’s Lubyanka Prison in 1947, at the age of 34. The Soviet reply has failed to satisfy the Swedes who intend to follow up any further information which becomes available.

The latest evidence is the most dramatic for many years. It become available towards the end of last year. Among those who never lost hope for Wallenberg were his aged mother and step-father. Both of them died in Sweden in February, shortly after hearing about the new “sightings” of their missing son.

INFORMATION ON WALLENBERG

The Swedish aide memoire, on the basis of Kalinski’s testimony, says Wallenberg was interned in the Verchneuralsk Prison in the Vhelyabinsk region from the end of the 1940s until 1953; from 1953 to 1955, he was in Alexandrovski Central Prison in the Irkutsk region; in 1955 he was transferred to the Vladimir Prison, where he stayed until the 1960s “in cell 23, corpus two.”

Exactly three weeks later, the Soviet Emlrassy handed the Swedish Foreign Ministry its reply containing only three paragraphs. It recalled the original statement about Wallenberg’s death (issued 22, years ago by Andrel Gromyko, the present Soviet Foreign Minister) and added.

“This conclusion was definitely confirmed by the findings of an examination of the information supplied by the Swedish government in its request of January 3, this year. The assertions that Raoul Wallenberg was in the Soviet Union us recently as 1975 are not in accordance with the facts.”

This will not, however, be the end of it Outside Sweden, those who believe Wallenberg may still be alive include Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal

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