By Susanne Berger
Last month, Mikael Oscarsson a member of the Swedish Riksdag, challenged Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, to a debate in Parliament. Oscarsson posed two questions: Does documentation regarding the Wallenberg case remain classified in the archives of the Swedish government, and especially those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? And what consultations has the Swedish government conducted with Russian authorities regarding the Raoul Wallenberg case over the last decades?
In her reply, Foreign Minister Wallström indicated that while all documentation up until 1971 have been declassified, a set of records remain classified in the Wallenberg case for the years 1971 – 2018. She cited „Swedish interests“ and „foreign relations“ as reasons for the continued secrecy. Ms Wallström did not directly answer Mr. Oscarsson’s second question but stressed that the Swedish government „will continue to work to ensure the utmost clarity in the matter of Raoul Wallenberg’s fate. We do this in our contacts with Russia, for example. Contacts with Russia about Raoul Wallenberg in the last decades have intended to obtain additional information on outstanding issues and to achieve the greatest possible openness from the Russian side.“
During the ensuing discussion, Mr. Oscarsson repeatedly asked Foreign Minister Wallström when the Swedish Foreign Ministry last had officially asked the Russian government for full clarification about the identity of Prisoner no.7 and for declassification of the relevant entries in the interrogation registers of the Internal (Lubyanka) Prison. [Prisoner no. 7 was interrogated for 16 1/2 hours on July 23, 1947, together with Raoul Wallenberg’s driver Vilmos Langfelder. Archivists of the Russian State Security Service (FSB) stated in 2009 that this prisoner „with great likelihood was the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.“ If true, it would mean Raoul Wallenberg was alive six days after his official death date of July 17, 1947, provided by Soviet/Russian authorities]
Ms Wallström was unable to answer the question. According to the information available to researchers and Raoul Wallenberg’s immediate family, such an official Swedish request was last presented to the Russian government six years ago, in 2012. If this is indeed so, it would mean that – in spite of Ms Wallström’s official insistence on the continued importance of solving the full circumstances of Wallenberg’s fate – the Swedish Foreign Ministry has done little to press the Russian side directly for answers regarding one of the most important leads to develop in the Wallenberg case in decades.
Photo: Mikael Oscarsson, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62157387