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Russian court to hear case on Raoul Wallenberg's disappearance

Updated fredag 15 september 2017 kl 12.47
Published måndag 18 september 2017 kl 07.00
Wallenberg's niece: What we really want is the truth
(2:15 min)
Raoul Wallenberg, left, in his office in Budapest and his niece Louise von Dardel, right.
Raoul Wallenberg, left, in his office in Budapest and his niece Louise von Dardel, right. Credit: TT and Bea Kallos/AP

Relatives of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi death camps only to disappear in 1947, hope a lawsuit filed in Russia will finally bring about answers to his fate.

It's been more than 70 years since Russian officials arrested Raoul Wallenberg, sweeping him off a Budapest street, never to be seen again.

But, on Monday, a court in Moscow will hear a lawsuit filed against Russia's top security agency FSB by Wallenberg's relatives. The family is seeking access to documents held in FSB's archives.

"The importance is to have access to archives, to have access to documents, because otherwise one can only be guessing about what happened," said Louise von Dardel, Wallenberg's niece who lives in Switzerland. 

Wallenberg served as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest during the tail end of World War II. He used his diplomatic privileges to save Jews from deportation to concentration camps by issuing them travel passes or Swedish passports.

In 1957, the Soviet Union said Wallenberg died of a heart attack. In 1991, a Russian government investigator said he was executed in 1947 inside a Soviet prison. However,no evidence was ever produced proving this.

Daria Sukhikh,a Russian lawyer helping the family, told Radio Sweden it's not entirely clear what will happen at Monday's court hearing. Judges could dismiss the lawsuit but, Sukhikh said, if the case does succeed, it could end up helping others in Russia with their pursuit for the truth.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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