Russia rejects request to release files on Swedish diplomat who saved WWII Jews

A Russian court has denied a request to release files on the fate of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. He saved thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary before his arrest and forced disappearance by Soviet agents.

A Russian court on Monday rejected a request to release classified documents about Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, whose death in a Soviet secret police prison seven decades ago remains shrouded in mystery.

Wallenberg used his diplomatic powers to help nearly 20,000 Jews flee Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War Two, before he was detained by Soviets in Budapest before the end of the war.

Read more:Raoul Wallenberg: The Swedish Oskar Schindler 

He died in a Soviet prison in Moscow in 1947 from what police officials later said was a heart attack. His body was never handed over and Sweden only declared him dead in 2016.

Sooner or later the truth will come out

The humanitarian's relatives believe he may have murdered by the Soviet secret police. In 2000, the head of a Russian investigative commission said Wallenberg backed up that assertion.

Wallenberg's relatives in July launched a case against the Russian FSB, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB and NKGB, in order to force the intelligence service to release classified documents that could shed light on the diplomat's fate.

But the Moscow court sided with the FSB argument that the documents could not be released because they contain information about other individuals.

"The historical significance of Raoul Wallenberg gives us the right to know the truth, whatever it is. And sooner or later we will get hold of the truth," said the family's lawyer Ivan Pavlov, adding the decision would be appealed. 

The FSB said the family would have to wait until 2022 when a 75-year waiting period for classified documents has passed. FSB representative Sergei Churikov admitted that Wallenberg's files had been heavily censored and parts were missing. "Someone took measures to hide information," he said.

cw/kl (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Related Subjects

History

The world remembers the victims of the Holocaust

On January 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. In 1996, then German President Roman Herzog marked it as a day to commemorate the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. In 2005, the United Nations named it a day of international day of remembrance. Since then, people gather across the world to remember those who lost their lives.

History

Oswiecim, Poland

Dozens of Auschwitz survivors commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day and paid homage to the Holocaust's victims by returning to the camp 72 years after it was liberated. Survivors placed wreaths in front of the camp's infamous shooting wall. Around 1.1 million people were murdered or died at Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945, 90 percent of them were Jewish.

History

Berlin, Germany

Germany's Bundestag commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a series of speeches. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck joined parliamentarians in listening to Felix Klieser, who was born without arms, play Norbert von Hannenheim's "Todeserfahrung." Hannenheim, who suffered acute psychological problems, was admitted to a Nazi "euthanasia" hospital.

History

Berlin, Germany

The Vice-President of Germany's parliament, Claudia Roth, laid a wreath commemorating the Sinti and Roma people murdered by Nazi regime. Next to the Jewish communities, the Sinti and Roma were also widely persecuted and then deported to concentration camps. Still, today they continue to make up one of Germany's largest ethnic groups.

History

Jerusalem, Israel

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wore a kippa as he entered the synagogue at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem a day prior to International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 26. In his speech, Netanyahu addressed the threat posed by Iran and pointed to new US President Donald Trump as a strong ally of Israel's.

History

Moscow, Russia

The Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, attended a candle lighting ceremony at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow. Although the Soviet Union suffered a number of anti-Semitic controversies, Moscow openly received tens of thousands of Soviet Jews from the Pale of Settlement into its newly industrialized cities.

History

York, United Kingdom

At York Minister in England, Canon Chancellor Christopher Collingwood lit 600 candles in the shape of the Star of David. In 1942, the Archbishop of York was one of the first people to condemn the Nazi Holocaust. Long before the Holocaust, the city witnessed the worst Jewish massacre in British history when, in 1190, some 150 Jews were targeted and killed in a series of anti-Semitic riots.

History

Rome, Italy

Italian Holocaust survivors Sami Modiano, right, and Piero Terracina embraced each other during a commemoration ceremony in Rome's Capitoline Hill. Dozens of guests, including Rome mayor Virginia Raggi, attended the ceremony.

History

Zagreb, Croatia

A wreath from Croatia's president, prime minister and the parliament speaker was laid at the monument for Jewish WWII victims in Zagreb's "Mirogoj" cemetery. However, Croatia's Jewish community boycotted Friday's remembrance ceremony, accusing the conservative government of not doing enough to curb pro-Nazi sentiment in the EU's newest member state.

History

Vilnius, Lithuania

Holocaust survivor Edmund Zeligman lit a candle during a commemoration ceremony in the synagogue in Vilnius, Lithuania. Around 95 percent of Lithuanian Jews were massacred during the country's three-year occupation by the Nazis. No country saw a larger share of its Jewish community executed in the Holocaust.

History

Navahrudak, Belarus

A number of Belarusian students marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by attending the Belarusian Jewish Resistance Museum in the city of Navahrudak. In 1941, under Nazi occupation, German soldiers established a Jewish a ghetto at the site where the museum now stands.

Related content