All clues about Raoul Wallenberg collected in one place
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has created a database containing all witness accounts and Soviet documents concerning the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who disappeared in Hungary in 1945.
"We have included everything, without making any judgment of credibility. Certain witness accounts seem reliable, for instance, accounts from people who say they shared a cell with Raoul Wallenberg. Others, such as the one from a woman who claims to be Wallenberg's daughter, are less convincing."
These remarks come from Harald Hamrin, a retired ambassador. It was his initiative to create the database, which is accessible to everyone.
Did Wallenberg die of a heart attack?
One of the documents in the database is a copy of the Smoltsov Report. Smoltsov was head of medical services at Lubyanka Prison, where Wallenberg was held. In July 1947 he reports that Wallenberg has died suddenly during the night in his cell, probably as a result of a heart attack. In the report, Smoltsov asks the Minister of State Security at the time, Abakumov, for instructions about who should be ordered to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
"The document and the authenticity of its contents are still discussed, but it's the only document from Russian archives that contains anything like definite evidence about the fate of Raoul Wallenberg," Harald Hamrin says.
The nobleman who was a KGB agent
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Sweden obtained access to some very interesting material from Russia. A Swedish-Russian working group was formed in 1991 for the purpose of bringing more information about Raoul Wallenberg to light. In the following years Sweden obtained access to many of the documents now in the database.
"But we know the KGB archives contain more information that we have not been allowed to see," Harald Hamrin says.
He mentions Tolstoy-Kutuzov, a Russian nobleman related to the author Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy-Kutuzov left Russia in 1917 and lived in various places in Europe. In 1944 he worked with Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest.
"These days we know that Tolstoy-Kutuzov was a KGB agent. We have asked permission to examine his dossier to see if there's anything there that can shed light on what happened to Wallenberg."
Sweden has not yet been allowed to study the dossier, which the Russian authorities say is subject to special secrecy rules.
"But we're continuing to work on gaining access to all documents and clarifying what happened to Raoul Wallenberg."
Accessible to everyone
The database contains over 1 000 documents adding up to a total of 10 000 pages. All witness accounts collected from 1944 until the present day are included as well as all documents concerning Raoul Wallenberg received from Russian/Soviet archives in PDF form. The database is accessible to everyone on the Internet. However, it does not include Swedish reports.
"The Raoul Wallenberg dossier is by far the largest at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The case takes up metres of shelf space and virtually everything is accessible and kept in archives that are open to the public," Harald Hamrin says.
Ambassador, Associate Professor of Political Science and former foreign correspondent in Moscow and New York
Family: Wife, two children, two grandchildren
Latest books read: Everyman by Philip Roth and a biography of Ingrid Gärde Widemar
Role models: My father, Agne Hamrin, author and journalist, and Nelson Mandela (after a recent visit to South Africa)