March 3, 2009

Russian Federation officially blames Stalin for Wallenberg dissapeareance

Today world media echoes a crude statement made by Mrs. Nina Lagergren who openly admitted that Raoul Wallenberg’s mother and stepfather killed themselves in despair at his fate in 1979. Wallenberg, a Swede diplomat, helped save the lives of tens of thousands of persecuted people during the Holocaust. On 17 January 1945 he was seized by Soviet forces. Since then his fate remains a mystery.

Several years ago The International Wallenberg Foundation, an educational NGO that I founded along with the late US Congressman Tom Lantos, launched a worldwide campaign to uncover the fate of Wallenberg. This campaign included several letters written by renowned personalities from differents walks of life, including Heads of Stated and Nobel Laureates that swell the ranks of the Wallenberg Foundation. Letters addressed to President Vladimir Putin were delivered from every corner of the planet.

In 2006, as a response to that barrage of letters a single piece signed by Alexander Darchiev, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C., reached our New York offices. In the letter Mr Darchiev states that: (the) ”responsibility for the death of Mr. Wallenberg lies with the USSR leadership, at that time and on I.V. Stalin personally. No other authority could deal with a Swedish diplomat, representative of a neutral state, a member of the ”Wallenberg House”, well known both abroad and to the Soviet government.”

Hence, the truth must be said. Russia admits full responsibility for the fate of Raoul Wallenberg and, therefore, its current authorities must give at once a decisive and blunt response to a mystery that has just turned 65 years of a tragic existence.

Baruch Tenembaum
The Internacional Raoul Wallenberg Foundation