LONDON (Apr. 3)
The new Swedish Prime Minister, Ingvar Carlsson, is to raise the case of missing diplomat Raoul Wallenberg as well as a number of other human rights issues when he pays an official visit to Moscow the week after next, Swedish diplomats said here Thursday.
Carlsson will visit the Soviet Union in answer to an invitation originally extended to his predecessor, Olof Palme, killed by a gunman in Stockholm last month. Diplomats say that Palme, too, had he lived, would have asked the Russians about Wallenberg, imprisoned in Moscow 41 years ago after saving thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis.
Despite lack of recent evidence that Wallenberg is still alive, politicians from all the parties in the Swedish Parliament have said they expect their new Prime Minister to challenge the Russians about his tragic fate, Carlsson is also expected to raise Jewish emigration and other human rights matters with his hosts.
Pierre Schorri, the Swedish Foreign Minister, has raised the Wallenberg issue with Moscow three times in recent years, most recently in January.
Sweden’s determination to raise the international interest it has acquired in recent years, symbolized by his being granted honorary citizenship by the U.S., Canada and Israel.
Although the Soviet Foreign Ministry invariably replies that Wallenberg died in the Lubyanka Prison in July 1947, the Swedish government claims evidence that he was in prison many years later, and maintains what it calls “a working hypothesis” that he is still alive.
At 73, Wallenberg would indeed be young enough to be alive, assuming that he has spent all these years in a controlled prison environment. But Swedish diplomats say that even after he passes his natural life-span his fate will affect their relations with the Soviet Union until it is convincingly explained.