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$1 Million Reward Offered for Information Leading to the Tracing and Freeing of Wallenberg

February 23, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A reward of $1 million has been announced as awaiting anyone providing information leading to the tracing and freeing of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who rescued Jews from Nazis during World War II and who is now believed to be in a Soviet prison.

A statement by the Free Wallenberg Committee of the United States said that the reward is being offered by the Wallenberg Association of Stockholm and the various Free Wallenberg Committees in a number of other countries, including the United States.

Annette Lantos, co-chairperson of the Free Wallenberg Committee of the United States, said the funds have been pledged by the committees from various countries in gratitude for the “great humanitarian service” which led to Wallenberg’s arrest by the Soviets during World War II.

The press statement also said that anyone “having information may write in confidence” to the Free Wallenberg Committee of the United States, POB 1870, Washington, D.C. 20001. Mrs. Lantos, who is one of the thousands of Jews who owe their lives to Wallenberg, is the wife of California Democratic Congressman Thomas Lantos. Wallenberg, while a member of the Swedish Embassy staff in Budapest during World War II, became aware that the Nazis planned to exterminate Hungary’s 700,000 Jews and issued “protective” Swedish passports that enabled nearly 30,000 people to flee Hungary.

When the Russians entered Budapest in January 1945 Wallenberg, then 32 years old, was apparently suspected of espionage. He was taken prisoner and sent to the Soviet Union. He has not been heard from since. In Feb. 1957, Andrei Gromyko, then the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister, said Wallenberg died of a heart attack in Lubianka Prison in 1947. However, numerous reports indicate Wallenberg might still be a political prisoner in a Soviet labor camp or a mental hospital.

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