Abstract

This Extended Essay investigates possible reasons behind the Soviet arrest of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, in January 1945. His disappearance has remained a mystery, but now that it has been ascertained that he was arrested the motives behind this become most intriguing. The research question is ”Why was Raul Wallenberg arrested?”

The introduction consists of an identification of the historical background: Hitler’s increasingly intensified holocaust at the end of the Second World War, leading to Wallenberg’s rescue mission in Budapest between late 1944 and the beginning of 1945.

The main part begins with giving necessary information about Wallenberg’s operation in Budapest, such as how and for whom he was employed and a short description of the nature and extent of his work. It continues by describing the circumstances surrounding the arrest and questioning who issued the arrest order. The remaining section of the main part is examining potential reasons behind the Soviet arrest of Wallenberg. Two main hypotheses are brought up. The first is based around the Soviet regime, being suspicious that Wallenberg’s activities were espionage for either Germany or USA/Britain. Secondly, the Soviet authorities might have wanted something in return for arresting Wallenberg, either in terms of information from Wallenberg himself, or use him as an exchange object in order to get back Soviet citizens. More speculative reasons are also accounted for. These include a possible recruitment of Wallenberg into the Soviet Secret Service, or a more idealistic viewpoint with regard to Wallenberg as a person, since he and his family were and still are a symbol for western capitalism.

The conclusion summarizes the different viewpoints and presents a concluding theory based around the uncertainty surrounding the arrest. Since this question could be answered by many valid arguments, the true answer could be that the Soviets justified their arrest in accordance with many different facts, meaning that there never was a single reason why the Soviet Regime issued the arrest order on Raoul Wallenberg.