March 2, 2009, - 3:51 pm

Interesting New Info in the Curious Case of Raoul Wallenberg, Heroic Swede Who Saved Thousands of Jews

By Debbie Schlussel
One of the not so mysterious mysteries is what happened to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. Instead of going into the safe, wealthy banking life of his family, this University of Michigan architectural school grad instead volunteered to work with America to save thousands of Hungarian Jews, and apparently lost his own life in the process.
Although no one knows for sure what happened to Raoul Wallenberg, sightings and other accounts indicate that he was captured by the Soviets and likely died in one of their prisons. If he were alive today, this heroic, saintly man would be 96.
This weekend, the Wall Street Journal’s Joshua Prager wrote an extensive feature on the Wallenberg family’s search for his whereabouts. Although the article was very long, there were some interesting items in it.



Raoul Wallenberg, a Hero If There Ever Was One

For instance, that Wallenberg’s mother, Maj, and stepfather, Fredrik Von Dardel, devoted their lives and resources in the search for Wallenberg and eventually committed suicide after years of stonewalling by the Swedish government, itself.
The Swedes, apparently, were more concerned about maintaining “neutrality” and being in good standing with the Communist Soviets than in rescuing one of their most courageous citizens. Disgusting. What good is a country’s faux-neutrality, if it means doing nothing against Nazis, then later doing nothing to free your most brave citizen?
Also, interesting and of note is the letter written by Albert Einstein, a friend of Wallenberg’s half-brother Guy Von Dardel, to the Soviets on behalf of Raoul Gustav Wallenberg. The letter is very . . . Einsteinian.
Guy Von Dardel and Nina Lagergren promised their mother they would search for their brother until the year 2000, but they’ve continued their quest on and off over the years, even though they, themselves, are both now elderly.
I always wondered what got Wallenberg interested in his brave work. The article provides some background:

Raoul’s paternal grandfather, Gustav, groomed the multilingual Wallenberg scion for a banking career and dispatched him to business posts in South Africa, then Palestine.
There, in a kosher boarding house in Haifa in 1936, the Swedish Lutheran met a German Jew whose brother had been murdered by a Nazi. He soon read Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf twice, his half-sister recalls.
On Jan. 22, 1944, the United States established the War Refugee Board, an agency intended to protect the endangered populations of Europe. The board asked the Swedish foreign ministry, which staffed a mission in Budapest, to suggest a candidate to run an office there. Word reached Mr. Wallenberg.
Hired by the U.S. and granted diplomatic status by Sweden, Mr. Wallenberg, 31, arrived in Budapest on July 9, 1944. The Nazis had already deported more than half of Hungary’s 750,000 Jews, nearly all to Auschwitz in Poland, where most were killed. Slight, balding and colorblind, Mr. Wallenberg used safehouses, counterfeit passports and bravado to safeguard thousands who remained.

And finally, there is the detail that most surprised–and sickened me: That Raoul Wallenberg’s niece, the daughter of his half-sister, Nina Lagergren, is married to Kofi Annan, the anti-Israel–and frankly, anti-Semitic–food-for-oil scammer and former UN chief.
I think Mr. Wallenberg is turning over in his grave on that one. Ditto for the fact that Mr. Annan did nothing to help free his wife’s heroic uncle.
An interesting read. And I am certain of one thing:
If he is dead, Raoul Wallenberg is in Heaven. If he is alive, he is on deck to go there. He gave up everything to help so many, and he lost everything for doing so.
The Swedes may have forgotten Wallenberg when they could do something to save him, but many of us will never forget him.

16 Responses

What an incredibly brave, wonderful man.
Shame on Sweden.

mplumb on March 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm

We stand on the shoulders of giants–some known and unknown. I had never heard of this man before, but am glad I can now honor it.
As a total coincidence, I started to re-read the book “Operation Solo” last night. Morris Childs was another great hero who dedicated his life so that we can live in peace and freedom.

JSobieski on March 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Unfortunately for Wallenberg, his biological father had died when he was a very small child. After his grandfather passed away, Raoul Wallenberg’s uncles and cousins of the powerful Wallenberg clan were not really involved with dedication in the search for this extraordinary hero. Raoul’s stepfather turned up heaven and earth to find him. But the Wallenberg’s the relatives of his father, may not have been that motivated to have an additional contestant for the family empire materialize back.

Hugo Schmidt-Fischer on March 2, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Stupid Question: Why would the Soviets have wanted to capture and imprison Wallenberg?
I don’t doubt that they probably did…but why?
Perhaps I’m naive or my focus on the threat from jihad and sharia the past decade has temporarily obscured from view other evil regimes and ideologies.
I know Stalin was a sick, murderous anti-Semite and Soviet communism was bent on world domination. But what would the Soviets want with a Christian guy like Wallenberg, who was anti-Nazi and wasn’t a potential threat, as an anti-totalitarian activist from one of the Eastern European countries in the Soviet sphere of influence could be perceived to be?

4infidels on March 2, 2009 at 6:33 pm

That generation of people had so many heros giving everything they could.
He really resembles a young Sylvester Stallone.

samurai on March 2, 2009 at 6:50 pm

A nice point here is the myth of “neutrality” The truth is that if you are not against the bad guys, you are tacitly with them. This has been proven over and over and continues to be done so today.

sjh on March 2, 2009 at 10:39 pm

It was a great read. Thank you for posting the AE letter. What an original. History seems to be repeating itself as Sweden is no longer concerned for its Jewish citizens:
Annan could do favors for oil but not for humanity. A perfect fit for the UN.

FeFe on March 3, 2009 at 12:04 am

I’m writing as I’m sitting here at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) in Lund University, Sweden. One thing for certain, not all Swedes have forgotten about this brave man, especially in the academic city of Lund where his name is pronounced with the southern Swedish accent “Gha-ul Val-len-bay”. According to the RWI website, Sweden and Russia held confidential talks during the past decade and found that, in reality, Raoul Wallenberg had been executed. May his soul rest in peace.

T.Spitzer on March 3, 2009 at 3:35 am

Appealing to Stalin to show humanity towards Jews or people who helped Jews would be akin to appealing to Hamas to show compassion on innocent Jews. Stalin was one of the great anti Semites of all time despite the many asshole Jewish fellow travelers and Communists throughout the world (such as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg).

Ripper on March 3, 2009 at 10:01 am

If any of the posters here ever gets to Budapest, there is an impressive memorial to Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. I wonder if there are any in Sweden. By the way the Swedes (along with the Norwegians)are some of the most anti Israel people in Europe.

Ripper on March 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

Wow, I’m just numb after reading that. I just feel a terrible sadness.
RIP, Raoul Wallenberg.

Jeff_W on March 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Thank you Debbie. It brought a lump to my throat reading about this brave, princpled man. A glorious soul indeed.

Jack Bauer on March 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm

“History seems to be repeating itself as Sweden is no longer concerned for its Jewish citizens:”
Too right. they’re far more concerned with the welfare of those who carry out 68% of the rapes in Sweden and have turned whole suburbs of Gothenburg, Malmo and Stockholm into no-go areas for the police, and we all know those immortal words from the then Minister for Democracy, Metropolitan Affairs, Integration and Gender Equality from the Social Democratic Party Jens Orback from 2004: ìWe must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.î And this from one of the most antisemitic nations in Europe, one that hasn’t had to fight for its survival since 1807, but will discover that it will be in one against the growing power of its own Muslim immigrant population in one of the worst moves since the Trojans brought a wooden horse into their city.

Spirit Of 1683 on March 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm

I just finished a fairly new book “Inside the
Stalin Archives” by Jonathan Brent, an American
Jew, parents from the Ukraine, in Moscow post
Soviet era, interviewing ex-KGB generals. They
have strange things to say about Walleneberg.
“He wanted to be President of Hungary after the
war. This was impossible !” “No one wanted any
thing to do with him !” They were still (2007)
afraid of talking about the case. The interrogator
was still alive but would not talk. Apparently he
was murdered by lethal injection in 1947. I have
no idea how true this is. It strikes me as strange
that even today ex-KGB generals are afraid of the
case. There must be a reason.
Yes, the Swedes wanted to show “neutrality” by
supplying Hitler with the iron ore to build his war machine.
Yes, it is true that Stalin ( as most Russians )
was an anti_Semite, and that almost all of the
original Bolsheviks ( Lenin, Trotsky etc. ) were
Jewish or half Jewish. David Horowitz tries to
tackle that phenomenon in one of his books.
And who in his right mind would expect Kofi Annan
to do the right thing ?

Hawkins on March 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm

As a former member of the Swedish / Russian Working Group on the Fate of Raoul Wallenberg (along with Guy Von Dardel), I wanted to thank everyone for the discussions. In response to T.Spitzer, Russia did make a statement that Raoul was executed, but to this date have not brought forth any evidence to support this claim. On the contrary, there is significant evidence that Raoul was sent to a 25-year prison sentence at Vladimir (and either died there or was later sent to a psychiatric hospital near Moscow). There are many witnesses to this – prisoners and staff – and a scientific investigation has been conducted. See if you are interested to learn more.

Ari Kaplan on July 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I’m really sad to read of the fate of this great human being. (referring especially to Ari Kaplan’s comment of July 23, 2009) How can such good people end up so badly? What is that? Happened to Schindler too.

And to this guy:

Alex Green on July 29, 2012 at 6:11 am

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