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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swedes Seek Proof That Wallenberg Was Shot

A Swedish official working with Russia on unraveling the fate of Raoul Wallenberg said his country was no closer to knowing how the diplomat reputed to have saved thousands of Jews during World War II died.

Jan Lundvik said the Swedish side of the inquiry had garnered fresh evidence on the events that led to the diplomat’s imprisonment. But the central issue of how and when he died was unsolved.

"We have a number of conflicting versions but we have no way of telling which one reflects the truth," Lundvik said by telephone from Stockholm late Monday.

Wallenberg, who helped thousands of Jews escape the Holocaust, disappeared in 1945 in Budapest after being arrested by Soviet troops.

Alexander Yakovlev, head of a Russian presidential committee on rehabilitating victims of Soviet-era political repression, said Monday he was sure Wallenberg had been executed in the notorious Lubyanka headquarters of the KGB in 1947.

Lundvik noted that the Soviets had first said in 1957, citing a report by a Lubyanka doctor, that Wallenberg had been found dead in his cell after a heart attack.

Then there were versions that he was put to death, shot, poisoned and still another version that he died after having been badly treated, Lundvik said.

"But we still have not had any definite evidence of just that version being more truthful than the other ones."

He said no death certificate had been issued for Wallenberg, and also cited testimony that Wallenberg had been sighted in the gulag.

"We are not in a position either to say … that he did in fact die nor are we in a position to prove that he was alive later," Lundvik said.

The diplomat said Russia and Sweden would each present their findings in January in separate reports.

Lundvik dismissed the testimony of a Ukrainian who said he’d been a World War II partisan and had been the one to arrest Wallenberg first.