This week, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation will present a 425 pages document with the interim result of their signature campaign to President Vladimir Putin, as well as to other leaders around the world and the United Nations. The ongoing ”100,000 Names for 100,000 Lives” campaign has already accumulated over 22,000 signatures in an effort to solve the mystery of Raoul Wallenberg.
Those who have signed include California Congressman Tom Lantos, who was personally saved by Raoul Wallenberg, Holocaust and Nazi occupation survivors, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Ambassadors to the United States from Israel, Mexico, and Bulgaria, employees of IBM, Microsoft, and Forbes, members of the House of Representatives, the U.S. State Department, the American Jewish Committee, and intellectuals and academics from Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, MIT, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkley, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.
Sixty-one years ago, Raoul Wallenberg risked his life saving 100,000 lives from Nazi death camps, daring to directly oppose Adolf Hitler’s extermination plans in Hungary.
On January 17th 1945 he was seized by the Soviet Army and to this day his whereabouts and fate remain a mystery. The official Soviet line has always been that he suffered a heart attack and died in 1947. However, there are reports of people that met Wallenberg right into the 1970s and 1980s.
A joint Swedish-Russian Working group has been investigating the fate of Raoul Wallenberg for over a decade, however, Russian and Swedish members of the group could not agree on a common report of their findings.
The Swedish study emphasizes the lack of documentation of Wallenberg’s execution, but also offers evidence that Wallenberg may have been placed in a special prison, where prisoners were labeled with numbers rather than names, or may have even been placed in a mental institution. The Swedish report also notes that Moscow has denied researchers access to KGB intelligence files and former KGB officials refused to be interviewed.
The IRWF also recently launched the international campaign ”Let’s Bring Raoul Home,” which calls for distinguished personalities to write letters directly to Vladimir Putin, asking for the release of vital information on Wallenberg’s case. Letters have been written by Nobel Prize Laureates, Heads of State and Wallenberg’s family, but these letters have yet to generate a response from President Putin himself. Ambassadors’ answers to the IRWF’s letters to President Putin all offer the same unsubstantiated claim that Raoul Wallenberg died in the Soviet Union on July 17, 1947.
Now that the Soviet Union is no more, it is no longer a matter of shame for the Russians to tell the world what happened to Raoul. It is not too late. One person can solve this mystery: President Putin.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation hopes that the signatures to be presented to Vladimir Putin, representing thousands of supporters to the Wallenberg case, will bring results in the form of a positive response from the President of Russia.