Soviets 'lied' about hero who saved Jews
Published 03/04/2010 | 05:00
A Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust was still alive after his Soviet captors reported his death in a Moscow prison, according to new evidence from a Russian archive.
Swedish and American researchers have unearthed new facts surrounding the fate of Raoul Wallenberg, whose disappearance after his arrest in January 1945 in Budapest by the Red Army has remained one of the great mysteries of the Second World War.
The Soviets had claimed he was executed on July 17, 1947, but no reliable proof of death has ever been found.
Unverified witness reports that Mr Wallenberg lived on, either in Soviet forced labour camps or secretly confined in Moscow's notorious Lubyanka jail, continued into the 1980s.
Now archives from Russia's Federal Security Service have identified "with great likelihood" a man described only as Prisoner No. 7, who was interrogated six days after the diplomat's death was officially reported, as Mr Wallenberg.
Mr Wallenberg prevented the deportation of at least 20,000 Jews to death camps.
He also prevented German officers running the occupied Hungarian capital from carrying out plans to destroy the city's Jewish ghetto, averting a massacre of its 70,000 residents. (© Daily Telegraph, London)