New information continues to trickle out of the Soviet archives about Raoul Wallenberg, the Swede who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II before being captured by U.S.S.R. forces, languishing in the Gulag, and finally being put to death (posthumously justified by what has since been acknowledged to be a show trial). Last year, we learned that he likely lived longer than we thought he did, and it is telling that although all we seemed to know for sure was that he was alive six days after we thought he was dead, the revelation was treated as the most important thing we’d learned about Wallenberg in a half-century.
Today comes the publication of statements by Wallenberg’s longtime Soviet prison cellmate, which are relevant less for what they say than for the mere fact that they exist: the Russians have long denied they did. Which further calls into question that he was executed on July 17, 1947, as the Russians claim (and which was severely questioned by the revelation last year, that “prisoner number 7,” believed to be him, was questioned on July 23. Which in turn makes you wonder yet more about his fate. He would be 99 this year. On Wikipedia, his birth and date are listed as follows: “(August 4, 1912 – July 17, 1947?)”