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Moscow court upholds decision to reject Wallenberg family’s lawsuit against FSB

February 20, 18:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A court has upheld the rejection of a lawsuit filed by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg’s family against the FSB demanding to provide information about what happened to him after the arrest in 1945

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© Sergei Shleyuk/TASS

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. The Moscow City Court has upheld the rejection of a lawsuit filed by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg’s family against Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) demanding to provide information about what happened to him after the 1945 arrest, a court source told TASS on Tuesday.

"The court has ruled to reject the appeal," the source said.

On September 19, 2017, Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court rejected the Wallenberg family’s lawsuit against the FSB.

During World War II, Raoul Wallenberg saved thousands of Jews from being sent to Nazi death camps by issuing Swedish passports for them, as Sweden remained neutral during the war. After Soviet troops liberated Hungary’s capital of Budapest in January 1945, Wallenberg was arrested and taken to Moscow where he is believed to have died in custody.

Wallenberg’s story

The reasons for Wallenberg’s arrest in Budapest in January 1945 remain shrouded in mystery. In September 1991, Russia offered five documents from the KGB archives to Sweden, which concerned the diplomat. At the same time, the two countries set up a working group to figure out Wallenberg’s fate.

It was established that the Swedish diplomat, arrested in Budapest on January 17, 1945, was brought to the Soviet State Security Ministry’s Lubyanka prison on February 6. He was designated as a "war prisoner." A report by a prison doctor says that Wallenberg died of a suspected heart attack on July 17, 1947. A number of people, including foreign nationals, who were kept in the same prison at the time, claimed that Wallenberg "was suspected to have been spying for Germany."

In December 2000, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office made a decision to rehabilitate Wallenberg and his driver Vilmos Langfelder.

In 2012, the Swedish Foreign Ministry requested Russia’s assistance in the search for documents that could shed a light on what had happened to Wallenberg. However, according to Russian experts, there were neither interrogation reports nor any other documents available in the archives, while all the information that could be found has long been declassified and access to it has been provided to researchers.

Possible reason for arrest

According to Swedish historian and writer Bengt Jangfeldt, Wallenberg could have 15 to 20 kilograms of gold, jewelry and cash hidden in his car when Soviet officials arrested him in 1945. Jangfeldt believes that it could be the actual reason for the arrest. Jangfeldt also said that the valuables could have belonged to the Jews whom Wallenberg had assisted and who had left their valuable things to him for safe keeping. At the same time, the Swedish historian claims that diplomats at the Swedish embassy did not completely trust Wallenberg thinking that he could have laid hands on the valuables.

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