WASHINGTON (May. 25)
Seventy-seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to President Reagan, asking him to urge Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the upcoming summit in Moscow to finally reveal what happened to Raoul Wallenberg.
The letter, initiated by Rep. Ted Weiss (D-N.Y.), called Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who is credited with saving 100,000 Jews in Hungary from the Nazis during World War II, “the last hero of the Holocaust.”
Reagan also was urged to ask Gorbachev to allow Wallenberg’s family to come to the Soviet Union, in order to investigate his fate.
Wallenberg went to Hungary in July 1944, at the request of the U.S. War Refugees Board to help Hungarian Jews. But after the Red Army moved into Budapest in January 1945, he was arrested.
The Soviets have since claimed that he died in 1947. However, there have been repeated reports that he was seen alive in Soviet labor camps.
“Our nation has a special responsibility to find out what happened to Raoul Wallenberg,” the letter said.
“It is American sponsorship which apparently led the Soviets to erroneously believe that Wallenberg was on a spy mission in Budapest.”
The lawmakers added that when Reagan signed a congressional resolution in 1981 granting Wallenberg honorary U.S. citizenship, it “committed the U.S. government to ongoing efforts to determine Wallenberg’s fate.”