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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Hands Over Wallenberg Papers

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Russia has handed over documents declaring that Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg died a victim of Stalin's terror, but Sweden is still refusing to close the case and declare him legally dead.

Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov gave the documents to the Swedish and Hungarian ambassadors at a ceremony Friday, 56 years after Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, was arrested in Budapest with his Hungarian driver.

"There is no doubt that Wallenberg and his driver were deprived of their liberty illegally and for totally political reasons," Ustinov said.

"It is a bitter irony of fate that a man who in the eyes of the world was a symbol of the fight for the lives of people threatened with death was declared socially dangerous," he said. "The totalitarian period of our history cost the lives of millions of our people and thousands of foreigners."

In Stockholm, a Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman made plain his government continued to differ with Russia over Wallenberg's fate.

"This is a copy of the decision the Russian authorities made in December and does not contain anything new regarding the Wallenberg affair," the spokesman said.

Russian authorities officially acknowledged for the first time in December that Wallenberg had been a victim of Josef Stalin's purges and had died in prison.

Swedish and Russian members of a commission presented different conclusions this month after 10 years of investigation into the case. Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said there was no clear evidence that Wallenberg was dead.

Wallenberg and driver Wilmos Langfelder were arrested in Budapest in January 1945. On the orders of the Soviet leadership, they were taken to Moscow's notorious Lubyanka jail. The Soviet government lied about his fate for decades, insisting Wallenberg had died of a heart attack in 1947.

Meanwhile, a Moscow library unveiled on Thursday a stone sculpture of Wallenberg with a plaque praising him for saving Jews — but missing a date of death. Jan Wallenberg, a relative of the diplomat, unveiled the bust and plaque at the Library of Foreign Literature. (Reuters, AP)