(JTA) — Raoul Wallenberg was alive after the Soviets reported he had died in a Moscow prison, according to new information.
The Associated Press, citing the Swedish magazine Fokus and two members of an American research team that conducted a 10-year investigation into Wallenberg’s disappearance in the 1990s, reported Thursday that the archives of the Russian Security Services show that a man identified as Prisoner No. 7, who was interrogated six days after the Soviets claimed Wallenberg was executed on July 17, 1947, was "with great likelihood" Wallenberg.
The Soviets never produced a death certificate for Wallenberg or his remains. There also have been unverified reports that Wallenberg was seen years later in Soviet prisons.
The AP reported that in a letter to Wallenberg’s relatives, released for publication on Thursday, researcher Susanne Berger said that the information needs to be further verified, "but if indeed confirmed, the news is the most interesting to come out of Russian archives in over 50 years."
Wallenberg worked for the Swedish government in Hungary, and used his position to issue protective passes and establish safe houses for Jews fleeing the Nazis, saving 20,000 Jews in Budapest. He was arrested in Budapest in 1945 by Soviet secret service agents.