Family's Search for WWII Hero Scarred Generations

Decades-long quest for Raoul Wallenberg, savior of thousands, in vain
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2009 2:16 PM CST
Family's Search for WWII Hero Scarred Generations
Raoul Wallenberg's half-brother Guy von Dardel, far left, and a US researcher, second left, with Russian officials, look through prisoner registration cards at a prison near Moscow in 1997.   (AP Photo/Susan Mesinai)

The fate of Raoul Wallenberg, savior of thousands of Jews in World War II, remains unknown, despite his family’s generation-spanning search for the Swede who was arrested by Soviets in 1945, at age 32. That quest has lasted 6 decades—and the Wall Street Journal has reviewed thousands of documents, many previously unseen, chronicling the heartbreak that anguished the family.

The Swedish and Soviet governments long resisted helping Wallenberg’s parents, who devoted their lives to the cause. The USSR said Wallenberg was dead, but the family received conflicting reports.“The place where we are met with the most indifference is still our and Raoul's native country,” wrote his half-brother, who carried on the search after Wallenberg’s parents sought a doctor’s help to die. The governments eventually changed their tunes, but the case remains a mystery.
(More Sweden stories.)

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