Sweden declares Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg officially dead

Photo: AFP


Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped thousands of Hungarian Jews to escape Nazi mass murder in World War Two, has been formally pronounced dead by Sweden’s Tax Agency, the BBC reports.

He was arrested by Soviet forces in Hungary in 1945 and disappeared. He is thought to have died in a Soviet prison, but his fate remains a mystery.

Thousands of Jews escaped deportation to Auschwitz because Wallenberg gave them Swedish protective passes.

His story became legendary after 1945.

The former Soviet authorities said he must have died in a Moscow prison in 1947.

But his family were sceptical about that version of events, and spent decades trying to establish what actually happened to him.

Last November they called on the Swedish Tax Agency to officially declare him dead. The request was made via Sweden’s SEB Bank, acting as a trustee.

“He shall be deemed to have died 31 July, 1952,” the tax agency said.

Pia Gustafsson of the tax agency said that date was chosen because it fell “five years after he went missing, which was believed to be the end of July, 1947”.

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