Is Raoul Wallenberg Alive?

ByBruce Dunford

H O N O L U L U, Dec. 29, 2000 -- An attorney for the family of Raoul Wallenberg,who helped tens of thousands of Jews escape Nazi death camps,believes the Swedish diplomat is still alive.

Russia acknowledged last week that Wallenberg was wrongfullyimprisoned in Soviet prisons on espionage charges for more than 2½years until his death. Details remain unclear.

But family attorney Morris Wolff said in a letter to PresidentClinton that he had received reports that Wallenberg, who would be88, is in a mental institution near Moscow.

In a letter dated Dec. 27, Wolff asked Clinton to “enlist(Russian) President Vladimir Putin to release Wallenberg, or toallow an international committee ... to examine the evidence.”

“There is a genuine possibility that Wallenberg is stillalive,” Wolff told Clinton.

Wolff said today that a former prisoner of war named AndreTamas, who was released earlier this year after 50 years in aRussian hospital, had indicated he had seen Wallenberg there.

Wallenberg, who vanished in 1945 at age 32, was a member of oneof Sweden’s wealthiest and most prominent industrialist families.

During World War II, he distributed Swedish passports to Jews inNazi-occupied Hungary, won diplomatic protection for wholeneighborhoods in Budapest and organized food and medical supplies.His efforts are credited with saving at least 20,000 lives.

Many former Soviet prisoners continue to claim Wallenberg wasalive as late as the 1970s and 1980s.

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