Most folks know the story of Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust before his arrest by advancing Soviet forces. He was never heard from again.
Now, in a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal, Joshua Prager documents the continuing struggle of his family for information. He also reports on the continuing dispute over Wallenberg’s fate, including this nugget about the efforts of Russia’s chief rabbi to press former President Vladimir Putin to disclose more information about Wallenberg.
In 2001, Moscow allowed that the Swede, likely arrested on suspicion of spying, had been innocent. More recently, Mr. Putin expressed a willingness to release more information when, on June 5, 2007, the president welcomed the chief rabbi of Russia to his private dacha.
"I said, ‘There’s this issue of Wallenberg,’" recalls Berl Lazar. "He said, ‘Yes, when I was in the KGB, this issue came up.’"
The rabbi suggested that full disclosure would benefit not only Mr. Wallenberg’s family and the Jewish community, but Russia, too. "He loved the idea," says Rabbi Lazar.