Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Court Rejects Suit By Wallenberg Relatives Seeking Archive Documents

Swedish diplomat and World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg
Swedish diplomat and World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg

A Moscow court threw out a lawsuit against Russia’s main security agency filed by relatives of Raoul Wallenberg, seeking documents related to the Swedish diplomat's final years before his death in a Soviet prison.

Wallenberg’s niece and other relatives had sought to force the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, to provide uncensored documentation that could shed light on Wallenberg’s fate, one of many enduring mysteries of the Cold War period.

But the Meshchansky District Court rejected the effort on September 18, saying the documents being sought contained personal information about other individuals and therefore could not be released.

Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer for Wallenberg's niece, Marie Dupuy, said in a posting to Facebook that the FSB had also argued the agency was not technically the successor to the NKVD, the Soviet security agency in existence in 1945. The KGB formally came into existence in 1954 after Stalin’s death.

Wallenberg saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II but was captured by Soviet forces in 1945.

Moscow said later that the 35-year-old had died in 1947 of a heart attack while at a prison at the notorious Lubyanka headquarters in Moscow but Wallenberg’s family, Swedish officials, and others have disputed that.

In July, Dupuy said she had asked lawyers to file a lawsuit as "numerous requests to Russian authorities over many years, publicly and privately, by myself, by expert historians, and Swedish officials, have failed to yield any results."

She claimed Russian archives contained documents with direct relevance related to Wallenberg's fate.

  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.