AMSTERDAM (Nov. 7)
Two Dutch historians have published a book charging that the family of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, including the purchase of assets seized from Jews.
According to the authors, Gerard Aalders and Cees Wiebes, Wallenberg’s arrest and subsequent disappearance may have been an act of revenge by the Russians for his family’s extensive economic ties with the Nazi regime in Germany.
Their theory was the subject of television broadcasts in Holland and Sweden on Sunday night, to mark the publication in both countries of their book, “Business At Any Price — The Wallenbergs.”
The book, the culmination of 10 years of research, discusses the transactions of the Enskilda Bank owned by Raoul’s distant relatives, Jakob and Marcus Wallenberg, two brothers.
The bank allegedly made large-scale purchases of debentures and shares in certain American enterprises, which Jews in Holland and elsewhere in Nazi-occupied Europe had been forced to hand over.
The bank knew full well that this was stolen property, the authors charge.
FINANCED ATOM BOMB RESEARCH
To “cover” themselves, the bankers asked for a “bona fide” declaration that the assets were owned by the seller before May 10, 1940, the date of the German invasion of Holland.
The Enskilda Bank helped the Nazis in other ways, the authors claim, by assuming “pseudo-ownership” of foreign subsidiaries of I.G. Farben and Bosch, which were vital to the German war effort, to prevent their confiscation by the Allies.
They charge that the Swedish bank also financed Nazi research for an atomic bomb.
The authors say their research was prompted by the chance reading of an article in a Swedish journal by a Professor Gunnar Carlsson, who urged an investigation of the Wallenbergs’ activities during the war, when Sweden was neutral.
Carlsson, who appeared on the television broadcast, did not believe the matter would ever be fully aired because the “vested interests,” namely bankers, diplomats and politicians, were too powerful.
Raoul Wallenberg nevertheless remains acclaimed for his humanitarianism and courage.
Arrested by the Red Army when it entered Budapest in 1945, Wallenberg is credited with saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from deportation by giving them the protection of the Swedish mission.