LIQUIDATSIA

 

The Question of Raoul Wallenberg’s

Death or Disappearance in 1947

 

 

SUSAN ELLEN MESINAI

Director, ARK PROJECT of FREEDOM CHANNEL        

30 Stone Avenue, Somerville, MA  02143 USA

 

123 Bank Street, New York, NY 10014

Telephone:   1-212-691-6436

 

 

Copyright:  Susan Mesinai, Library of Congress, December 6, 2000.

 

SUMMARY

                       

 

The attached is an interim discussion of the issues key to the fate of Swedish diplomat and Honorary United States citizen Raoul Wallenberg, primarily as determined by putting the findings related to the 1947 date ‘under a microscope.’  It is not the formal interim report which I submitted to the Governments of Sweden and of Russia, which is fully footnoted and remains classified to honor the rights of privacy of prisoners and their families, and of confidentiality.  In those cases where this discussion offers essential findings to understand the alternative to the claims of the past fifty-five years, I have made an exception with the text for the sake of Raoul Wallenberg and the truth.  Names – except for the most celebrated – in these portions have been sanitized.  Because of the above constraints, footnotes appear only in the classified version.

 

This discussion was created out of an investigative work in progress which has been carried out over the past three years thanks to the Governments of Sweden and Russia combined with ten years of archival research and ‘live search investigation’ in Russia, the United States, Hungary, Britain and Sweden as director of the ARK Project of the Russian Relief Fund, and subsequently of Freedom Channel.  It consists of new findings plus excerpts from two chapters of a seven chapter approach to the issue of Raoul Wallenberg’s whereabouts and fate in the Soviet Gulag.  These areas include: 1. Wallenberg’s Mission, an exploration of the ‘Why’; Questions related to 2. Investigation and Sentencing, which focuses on the issue of 1947 – from an investigative point of view being ‘too soon’; 3. Death; 4. Camps; 5. Strict Isolation and the Numbering of Prisoners, the basis of ‘Disappearance; 6. Medical Sightings and Forensics; and questions related to Wallenberg’s status as an 7. Illegal captive and Prisoner of War.  Most of the information in this interim discussion comes from Chapters 3 and 5.

 

To summarize my findings, for those who may not endeavor to labor through the intricacies of my argument, they are as follows:

 

 

1.                  The most likely scenario is that Raoul Wallenberg did not die in July 1947, but ‘disappeared’ – that is, his identity was changed as either a numbered prisoner or a prisoner under a different name although he remained in the system both for purposes of interrogation and to be available in case of a possible exchange.  As this constitutes a dissent to the presentations of both the Swedish and Russian governments, I have gone to great lengths to phrase an argument that would explain this.

 

 

2.                  As death by execution – whether by shooting or lethal injection – would have required a decision of leadership, an order and a witnessed act must exist to confirm that it had been carried out.   In short, if Wallenberg was killed in 1947 as described by the Russians, there should be a paper trail.  The officials presenting these claims are expecting the public to accept their claims without such documentation.  It is up to the world to insist upon legitimate proof.

 

 

3.                  If Wallenberg had indeed died of a heart attack in 1947 as claimed, it would be unlike Abakumov not to have registered the death in all the appropriate places since his function was both security and administrative.  He himself had co-authored the regulations overseeing the reporting of deaths of foreign prisoners in 1943.  In cases where heart attack is induced by lethal injection, the purpose of such a procedure would be to generate one which did not appear to be an execution but could be registered in the system to provide satisfactory closure in the case of a known prisoner.  Death by lethal injection would make an accounting possible as the death could be registered with OAGS or ZAGS, the civilian regional registry for deaths.

 

 

4.                  If the Smoltsov document is genuine, since it does not constitute a legitimate death act – its most likely purpose would be to include it in Wallenberg’s file so that it would appear he had died.  This would be a necessary step to prevent further questions regarding his absence before opening a new file as a numbered prisoner or under a pseudonym.  If the document was contrived later – after the deaths of both Smoltsov and Abakumov, the fact that it does not meet any of the requisites for identifying the prisoner in question as Raoul Wallenberg would leave room for a Soviet policy reversal later on.  The language of the Gromyko Memorandum of February 6, 1957 -- which the Smoltsov document ‘supports’ -- also leaves the door open for the entire claim that Wallenberg died of a heart attack in 1947 to be reversed.  The most likely purpose of this would be, again, should it be necessary to bring Wallenberg ‘back from the dead’ in an exchange.  We know that there were probes for such an exchange of Raoul Wallenberg for the Swedish Soviet spy Stig Wennerstrom in the mid-Sixties – so this is not simply a hypothetical situation. 

 

 

5.                  The argument that Wallenberg disappeared rather than died in 1947 is multi-faceted, based first on the fact that his name – and that of his colleague Vilmos Langfelder – were cut out of registries or blotted.  As there are only four blots on names of prisoners in the registry of possessions for Lubyanka for 1947 – one of whom was numbered but later returned to Rome – the fate of the other three may be the same.  They too could have lived.  That is, Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona (whose relation to this case is not yet known) may also have been numbered and the blots correspond to the removal of traces of their names and also the transfer of their possessions to another registry for numbered or renamed prisoners only.  This registry would have been in the hands of the very few.

 

 

6.                  In an examination of the only file said to exist on Numbered Prisoners among classified Prison Department records in GARF (combined with an ongoing analysis of  the prisoner cards at Vladimir Prison where Wallenberg is most often sighted after July 1947, and of the personal prisoner files I have studied),  I made calculations based on the system.  This shows that there are only six numbers available for three missing men that match the time period of their disappearance.  The Russians claim to have already identified three of those numbers, which means that we now have three numbers for three men – Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona – dating between June 1947 and May 1948.  These files must be identified as they are quite probably those of the three men we are seeking if they were sentenced during that period.

 

 

7.                  If Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona were not numbered and/or sentenced but renamed, our task is more difficult.  We do however have a few documents which state this is the case.  We also have eyewitness reports of two individuals at Vladimir – one worker and one prisoner, with no knowledge of each other – who identified a photo of Wallenberg under the same pseudonym.  The Russians however have not produced a card under that name and the same numbers which are missing in Item 6 above are missing from the Vladimir kartoteka.

 

 

8.                  Dr. Marvin W. Makinen and Ari Kaplan’s study of the cell occupancy of Corpus II, Vladimir Prison, back to back with my own studies for 1947, would indicate the high probability that Wallenberg was sentenced for Counter-Revolutionary activities and sent to Vladimir in July 1947 where he remained until sometime in 1948, after which he would have returned to Moscow for further questioning.  There are subsequent indications that he returned at a later date (1954/1955) after many of the primary witnesses whom he had known from Moscow prisons had been repatriated.  It then appears that he remained in Vladimir Prison even through the Gromyko Memorandum of 1957 (suggesting his death in 1947) and beyond.  I am presuming that Wallenberg was given a second sentence around 1957 – the standard 25 year term for espionage which would incorporate his previous sentence and take note of time already served.  This would mean that his longer sentence would expire in 1970 or 1972, depending upon whether they count from 1945 with its initial detention, or from 1947.  It is also probable that his original numbered prisoner status was changed – either it was dropped after some years or the authorities replaced it with a pseudonym. 

 

 

9.                  The return of Wallenberg’s possessions in 1989 is the strongest evidence pointing to his having lived into the Eighties – as a number of important  eyewitness have affirmed.  While these require verification, prison regulations regarding the valuables and currency not confiscated upon sentencing and their return to the prisoner upon his repatriation or to the next of kin within six months of the point of death make it necessary for the Russian side to explain why Wallenberg’s currency in various foreign denominations was still ‘lying around’ in 1989,   If Wallenberg had died in 1947 – or at any time thereafter – these monies should have been immediately confiscated.

 

 

10.              Throughout this discussion, I have shown indications that essential portions of Wallenberg’s file still exist – which contradicts the Russian claim that it has been destroyed or is missing.  The two pieces of actual evidence we have been given – the Smoltsov document and the return of Wallenberg’s currency – point directly to the existence of a file in 1957, from which the doctor’s note was taken, and in 1989 – from which receipts were consulted for the return of the currency or some sort of record to determine what remained in his financial debit/credit account.  The return also of Wallenberg’s passports and prisoner of war card in 1989 suggest that the latter was to be found in his personal prisoner file, the former in his Archival Investigative File. 

 

 

11.       There exists in the former Soviet Union a meticulous record-keeping system which would enable us, or the Russians themselves if they so choose, to track Raoul Wallenberg’s paper trail through a variety of means.  For example, upon the issuance of my original report in 2000 regarding the importance of the currency released in 1989, the Russians issued an unsolicited response stating that all financial records pertaining to the accounts for prisoners held at Vladimir from the years 1945 to the present ‘had been destroyed.’  This is intended, one would presume, to discourage further pursuit of a route that could firmly establish Wallenberg’s presence in the Gulag.   As a panic reflex, such a reply is understandable – but not credible.  One does not destroy all financial records up to the present, particularly when such a conscious act is so contradictory to the cooperation promised – and often exhibited – under the Swedish-Russian Working Group into the fate of Raoul Wallenberg.  It goes without saying that the appropriate destruction documents have not been forthcoming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.     LIFE

 

When Raoul Wallenberg -- a Swedish diplomat struggling to save the remaining Jews in Hungary from Eichmann’s “Final Solution” -- asked to be taken to the command post of the Soviet troops  liberating Pest, he set his fate in motion.   On December 31, 1944 Wallenberg’s name had been  included on a list of Swedish diplomats and businessmen to receive Soviet ‘protection’ because their government represented  Soviet interests in Hungary.   By January 17th, 1945, the ‘protective custody’ being offered to Wallenberg provided a cover for something more sinister.  The humanitarian hero who had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews from Nazi ‘liquidation’ was about to become an illegal captive of the Soviet GULAG.  

 

For two days after Wallenberg and his colleague Langfelder first made contact with the Soviet troops at the spa of the Varosliget Park, he was allowed to leave the command post in order to gather his papers, some currency and valuables and to put his humanitarian affairs in order. During that time orders were being cabled to and from Moscow through the headquarters of the 2nd Ukrainian Front.  By the 17th  of January, Wallenberg ‘s arrest had been ordered by Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Bulganin at the request of Victor Abakumov, head of Smersh (“Death to Spies.”).  When Wallenberg set forth that day, with the motorcycle convoy escorting his car to Debrecen to meet Marshall Malinowski, he seemed unaware of any danger from Soviet troops.  He was too intent on making certain that his work not have been in vain.  Only his parting words to Laszlo Peto,  a long term friend – said with humor -- seem both tragic and prophetic in retrospect: “I don’t know if I am going with them as their guest or their prisoner. “

 

The Soviet troops’ orders were to round up the foreign diplomats – those who had not fled with the Arrow Cross government to Szombathely – and take them to safety.  According to Wallenberg, the rest of the Swedish legation was to be found on the Buda side of the city.  He made a point of naming the legation’s various buildings and their ‘safe houses.’  While noting the various location, the Soviet officers kept coming back to the fact that Wallenberg refused to leave the front line, to move to the rear, because he had 7,000 people in his charge in the Eastern or Pest side of the City.  Although Wallenberg felt he must go to Debrecen to assure his own safety from lawless Arrow Cross bandits now roaming the City, his primary concern remained the Jewish community whose welfare he had shepherded through one siege after another since July 1944.  The Swedish government had, since October 1944, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Arrow Cross government – leaving Wallenberg the sole go-between as long as their officials remained in Budapest.   In retaliation, the Arrow Cross representatives who assumed power after the official government retreated to Szombathely, would no longer accept Swedish neutrality as an extraterritorial shield for their Jewish protegees.  They would enter the houses and pull them into the streets; they threatened to blow the buildings ‘to Kingdom come’ with all the Jews in them.

 

The Soviets had, for months, been in the Budapest region and yet they delayed its liberation – some say to limit their number of casualties.   In reality, however, this valuable time allowed their agents to infiltrate and assess the ‘balance of power’ among key personalities and groups in the City.  For example, the military corps of the Horthy government resistance group, the MFM, was infiltrated by a NKVD Major and subsequently arrested by the Gestapo.  Wallenberg’s disappearance on January 17th would seem to reflect the tragic coming together of two ‘mysteries.’  In Wallenberg’s case, there is the question of why he went to meet the Soviets with so much money and, it is rumored, gold and jewels, not to mention important documents and proof of atrocities.  Whom or what group was he expecting to meet?  Besides the location of the two ghettoes and various safe houses, what information was he prepared to offer which might have effected history?  Was he a witness to something bigger and more important?  On the Soviet side, there remain the concerns of Smersh (“Death to Spies”) to properly identify their enemies and the various civilian – as well as military means – which existed to counteract their occupation of Hungary.  Wallenberg’s arrest order is a clear indication that, for reasons unknown, he was high on that list.

 

Even before Wallenberg’s arrest was ordered, ciphergram order Number 2058 from General Kuprianov to Major General Afonin of the 30th CK of the 2nd Ukrainian Front dated January 14th shows that the Swedish diplomat was to be cut off from the world. Any links between Raoul Wallenberg and the outside world to be banned.  Handwritten on the side of the cable, there is a notation: That Wallenberg had been found on the 13th on Benczur Street, that he came himself to the Soviet troops and that he had refused to go to the rear.  Prior to this a number of pro-Allied prisoners of war, hiding out in Budapest, had gone of their initiative to meet the Soviet troops at a designated point, only to be arrested.  Sir Reginald Barratt, a British warrant officer, who had repeatedly escaped German POW camps, ‘disappeared’ into the Soviet Union (fate unknown), as did Colonel Marion Steifer, a representative of the Polish Army.  Dutch Lieutenant Garet van der Waals, who brought the Soviet troops anti-aircraft information, was arrested and taken to Moscow prisons where he died in 1948.  Van der Waals, a ‘British officer’ was accompanied by Karl Schandl, a Hungarian whose family had banking and rescue ties with Wallenberg. Schandl, like the Jewish engineer and Wallenberg’s friend, Vilmos Langfelder, shared the fate of the foreigner he accompanied.  Other than records of his interrogations and some reports from eyewitnesses during the early phase, we do not know how Langfelder fared as the result of Raoul Wallenberg’s arrest.  Was he only a shadow to Wallenberg or, in the eyes of the Soviets, important in his own right?  But the case against Schandl was so weak that, in the end, the Russians have stated that the charges against him were ‘borrowed’ from Van der Waals’ file.

 

Another American dual national, Charles Clifford Braun, an engineer working in Hamburg during the War – and probable OSS figure -- also disappeared from Budapest.  Braun, believed dead by the American military forces looking for him as early as May, re-emerged in Moscow prisons as a cellmate of the Slovak diplomat, Jan Spishek who was arrested and questioned by Smersh officers in Hungary at the same time as Wallenberg.  Braun was later interrogated by Daniel Kopelyansky along with Wallenberg, Langfelder and Van der Waals on July 17, 1946 in Lefortovo Prison.  He was sentenced in 1951 and died in or around the Verchne-Uralsk Prison in 1953, just prior to his release and/or rehabilitation.  (A number of eyewitness reports of Wallenberg show him also being held in Verchne-Uralsk Prison and camps in that region during that same time period).

 

By January 22nd, Smersh in Hungary had issued reports regarding the locations of the various embassies in Budapest, the numbers of those arrested by nationality (Wallenberg was the only Swede), and the instruments – including radios, weapons and equipment for sabotage – confiscated at that time.  By January 25, 1945 Wallenberg and Langfelder – whose exact whereabouts in Hungary or Rumania are unclear  -- were on their way by train to Moscow. Their new escort maintained the illusion that the two men were ‘protected guests’ – giving them the freedom to disembark and dine at a restaurant in a depot station in Rumania.  Upon arrival at the Kiev railway station in Moscow on February 6th, they were given a brief tour of the metro system and then brought to Lubyanka Prison on foot.    Here Wallenberg and Langfelder were separated, unlike Van der Waals and Schandl, Spishek and Braun, or the Swiss diplomats Meyer and Feller who were sent by the Soviets from Budapest to Moscow in March 1945.  

 

On January 17th, Smersh operational officers in Moscow had arranged the placement of Richter and Schlitter, Wallenberg’s first cellmates, together in a cell in Lubyanka Prison.  Schliterr’s name, for the sake of this operation, had been changed to ‘Shauer’ to facilitate his role as informant.  While seemingly coincidental, details such as the timing – an indication that the authorities were preparing for an ‘important prisoner’ – highlight certain features of this case.  The same can be said for the separation of Wallenberg and Langfelder.  Arriving prisoners are to be placed on order from head of prison with regard to directions from the investigative body….. Investigating bodies are to give instructions about isolating same case prisoners from each other….On returning to prison after hearing during trial, prisoners for one case are isolated from other prisoners but not from each other…. In principle this would imply that, while Raoul Wallenberg and Vilmos Langfelder never shared a cell together between February 1945 and July 1947, they could have been sentenced together in 1947-48 or sat together at a later date – if they survived their respective ‘death dates’ of July 1947 and March 1948.  Our evidence to date would show that – while they may have both been sent East -- they went to different isolation prisons.  Both seem to have been brought back to Vladimir Prison in the Fifties, but did not share a cell.

 

As Wallenberg’s criminal file is missing, the charges against him are not known.   However, according to a discussion between General Key as American representative and the Soviet heads of the Allied Control Commission in Debrecen in May 1945, it had been stated that the three neutral diplomats – the Swede Wallenberg and the Swiss Meyer and Feller – had been arrested by the Soviets on suspicion of Nazi collaboration.  It should also be noted that in a March 8, 1945 broadcast of Radio Kossuth, Debrecen, fellow  Swedish ‘diplomat’ and Red Cross director Waldemar Langlet was cited as the source for a story that Wallenberg had undoubtedly died in Hungary at the hands of the German Gestapo.  This set the tone for the later conjectures of Swedish Minister Steffan Soderblum to Stalin in June 1946 that Wallenberg had been murdered by robbers or had a car accident in Hungary.  This in turn seems to have inspired some of the language for the denial by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrej Vishinsky of August 18, 1947 that Raoul Wallenberg was unknown to Soviet authorities and not to be found among the prisoners of war being detained in the USSR.

 

And yet, again in May 1945, the Soviet ACC military official Levushkin made it clear to American officials that Wallenberg had not died in Hungary, but was in Soviet hands.  Swedish officials also stated to Acting U. S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson at a meeting in Scandinavia in the Fall of 1945 that Wallenberg had been taken, with his documents, to the Soviet Union and that they feared he would never return.  In other words, both in the beginning and at successive  stages, there were two signals being given by the Soviets --- to the public at large dissuasive disinformation stating Wallenberg to be dead – but in closed meetings on a controlled level a clear statement that he was in Soviet hands.  For some this implies an invitation to assure Wallenberg’s return through an exchange, as the British had initiated the return of the Swiss diplomats through the ACC in Hungary.  The failure of those responsible for Wallenberg’s mission to act immediately during the more fluid ACC period (which lasted until July 1947) cast still more suspicion on him.  By the Fall of 1946, Wallenberg in Moscow prison was drafting a letter to Stalin.  According to wall tapping exchanges with prisoners in neighboring cells, after this Wallenberg was called to interrogation and, to calm him down, told by the Commissar that he should wait until March 1947 when the fate of all prisoners of war would be the subject of a conference in Moscow.   

 

In the Spring of 1947, there were not only international discussions regarding the return of prisoners of war, but reorganizational changes within the Security organs, following upon those already initiated by Stalin in 1946.  In April 1947 an order was sent from I. A. Serov establishing the rules governing the care of  a category known as ‘numbered prisoners’ to the head of Ivanovo MGB prison.  We shall assume that the same document was sent to nearby Vladimir Prison.  If the Soviet authorities are to be believed, by then Wallenberg was no longer considered as a straightforward case of prisoner of war.  The last references produced by the Russian side of the Swedish-Russian Working Group are a blotted registry of possessions for Wallenberg'’ arrival in Lubyanka (recorded March 2, 1947) and his interrogation on March 11, 1947.  Besides this, we have the Vishinsky memorandum to Molotov of May 14, 1947, referring to the ‘liquidatsia’ of either the man or the problem caused by Wallenberg’s detention, and a registry entry for the Council of Ministers from Abakumov to Molotov, dated July 17, 1947 – Wallenberg’s alleged death date.  While we do not have the actual Memorandum 3044a – the coincidence of date has been cited by those who support the claim of Wallenberg’s death in 1947.  In fact, this document could have made any one of a number of recommendations or reported several outcomes, other than execution.

 

Were it not for those he saved combined with serious sightings from a number of eyewitnesses in Moscow and Vladimir prisons, and elsewhere, Raoul Wallenberg might have been forgotten as so many foreigners thought to have been taken to the Gulag, fate unknown.   The Russian side of the Working Group over the past ten years has provided a number of documents to establish Wallenberg’s presence in Moscow prisons.  Because of the absence of the complete sequence of documents for 1947 – transports, searches, cell occupancy, cells for interrogation, prolongation of his investigation, statements of jurisdiction, his medical history and death act – the question of Wallenberg’s fate remains open.  Any effort to resolve it – in the absence of his personal and investigative files – must be achieved through a painstaking process of ‘reconstruction.’  In this regard, we have eyewitness reports from a variety of sources related to Wallenberg’s mission, his presence in camps, the verified reports of his presence in Moscow prisons until early 1947 – and the unverified ones which begin almost immediately after his alleged death date of July 17, 1947 and continue into the Eighties.  In order to launch a systematic investigation to cluster and verify these reports, it has been necessary to establish a context in which to evaluate them.  This includes some understanding of the step by step processing of a prisoner within a special contingent undergoing interrogations in preparation for sentencing as well as clues provided by the prison regime.

 

A number of questions must be asked as one proceeds with this reconstruction.  For example, how do the various sightings of Wallenberg alive, or speculative reports of his death, relate to the norm?  How can we apply proper procedures for arrest and registration, regularity of interrogation, reporting of jurisdiction, sentencing --and particularly the decisions which arose with an approaching end of prison term – to determine the next juncture of Wallenberg’s fate?  If he was sentenced at a certain time – what is the probability of the charges against him?  What was his length of term?  Where might he have gone?  How does his alleged death relate to the standard – or exceptional – reporting of any other foreign prisoner?  How do the later reports in the Seventies and Eighties of Wallenberg’s presence in places to the East, as well as in psychiatric facilities, correspond to the general procedures or patterns of movement for a prisoner whose lengthy sentence includes both prison and camp time?  Is it possible that for medical or other reasons he was eventually taken out of the MGB/MVD system altogether?  How can we track a prisoner whose term has expired and yet his status has been prolonged under the label ‘Especially Dangerous State Criminal’?

 

The details of Wallenberg’s initial ‘arrest’ in Budapest – particularly the isolation which put him beyond reach of those whom he’d saved -- would indicate that in the eyes of Soviet leadership, he was already considered an ‘important State criminal.’  Factors involved in confirming the charges against such a criminal were presented in a compendium of practices laid forth by MGB and former Smersh chief, Abakumov to Stalin on July 17th, 1947, Wallenberg’s alleged death date.

 

I report to you about the practice formed in the organs of the MGB of conducting investigation on the affairs of spies, saboteurs, terrorists and members of anti-Soviet underground (organizations).  1.  Before the arrest of a criminal there are measures foreseen which provide for the suddenness of the …arrest with the object of a) averting escape or suicide; b) prevention of an attempt to inform accomplices; c) staving off the destruction of evidential data.  At the arrest of an important State criminal, when it is necessary to conceal the arrest from the surroundings or when it is impossible to simultaneously execute the arrest of his accomplices, in order not to give them an opportunity to slip away from responsibility or to destroy evidential data – a secret arrest is being executed in the street or in some other especially invented circumstances. [i]

 

The manner in which Wallenberg was allowed to prepare for his journey to Debrecen, to gather his documents and, it is rumored, a great deal of currency and valuables – to give final instructions to his workers in a number of different offices or clinics under the seemingly casual eye of the NKVD – corresponds to this ruse.   The question is why a neutral diplomat, such an invaluable humanitarian, should be of serious interest to the Soviet authorities.  Was it simply as collateral for an international game, a pawn for an eventual exchange?  Or were there grounds for real charges against him?

 

 

The Importance of Wallenberg’s Lubyanka Registration Card

 

The fact that Wallenberg’s registration card at Lubyanka Prison, dated February 6, 1945, acknowledges him as a ‘prisoner of war’, that he remained under the jurisdiction of Smersh and later, the 4th Department of the Third Main Directorate (Military Counter-Intelligence), raises some questions about possible military implication to his mission in Hungary.  (It should be noted that of the eighty prisoner files I have studied, many of whom were also arrested by Smersh, it was not usual for Abakumov personally to request an arrest and/or that the prisoner be brought to Moscow.  The only other cases I have seen were high-ranking German military or naval officers.)  At the same time, one should bear in mind that wartime questions of a humanitarian nature – involving the saving and movements of refugees across national borders – had to be coordinated with the military strategies of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in London and Washington, and with the various intelligence groups stationed in Caserta and Bari, Italy.  While Moscow was informed through the British and American Missions in Moscow of some of these activities, the Soviets were not fully apprised of the Western Allies intentions in the Balkans.  In fact, in their respective campaigns in Southeastern Europe and in the neutral capitals of Europe and Turkey, the Anglo-American Allies and the Soviets were already watching, and keeping secrets from, each other. 

 

What was Wallenberg’s mission? The only non-American working as a U.S. War Refugee Board representative, his task was not only to ‘observe’ in the passive sense of sitting at a desk and writing reports.  Wallenberg made it a condition of his service that he be permitted to save lives.  We also know from his detailed record-keeping regarding the property and next of kin of those under his care, and the Nansen Plan he was creating to assure the safe reconstruction of the Jewish community in Budapest, that his work had an economic component as well. 

 

This both originated and carried over into his special relationship with the Managing Directorship of Tungsram, also known as United Incandescent or Orion Tungsram – a General Electric, ITT, ISEC and ASEA affiliate until the U.S. declaration of war against Germany in 1941 when the Western Allies were forced to withdraw from the multi-national cartel, leaving only Hungarian, German and Swedish ownership.  Wallenberg openly formed his ‘Humanitarian Sector’ leadership out of the Managing Directorship of Tungsram, with such assistants as Hugo Wohl, while ASEA -- a Wallenberg owned General Electric affiliate in Sweden --  negotiated the exchange of Leopold Aeschner, Tungsram’s top director from Auschwitz.  Aeschner arrived safely in Switzerland on January 18, 1945 – the same day that Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz – and one day after Wallenberg’s disappearance at the hands of Smersh.  (By Christmas 1944, the Wallenbergs had also arranged through Berlin for the release of the Norman Group, a number of ASEA affiliated executive arrested in Poland and held by the Gestapo.  That fact that both Aeschner and the Norman Group were ransomed from the Germans under the threat of the advancing Soviet troops – while Raoul Wallenberg was not – is most tragic.  The answer in this case presumably lies with the Wallenberg family private archives.)

 

Early questioning in Budapest shows that the Soviets were already concerned about the true nature of Wallenberg’s diplomatic status.  Find out what kind of secretary he is.  For Wallenberg  was not a career diplomat but a businessman who traveled in Germany and the occupied countries  on a Kabinetpass prior to his humanitarian mission.  Wallenberg’s Passport Number 248 – returned by the Soviets in 1989 – is also a Kabinetpass, only with the word ‘diplomat’ inscribed in gold leaf.  As clearly Wallenberg relied upon his diplomatic status for his safety, it is important to compare this form of passport with that of a career diplomat such as Per Anger.  Could the Soviets see on sight that there was something different about his papers?  Did they realize also that the date of Wallenberg’s passport had been extended in his own writing, although Per Anger’s signature is attached?

 

One of the most cryptic items in Wallenberg’s intake interview, reflected on his Lubyanka registration card, is Item 7, Profession/Specialty, where it is written “diplomaticheskiy nadsmotr.” Translated literally this means “Diplomatic foreman” – i.e., a diplomat who oversees other diplomats to assure the productive fulfillment of an established goal.  Again we come to the distinction between a passive observer and one with a more active humanitarian role –‘like a prosecutor or manager.’  Does this correspond to Wallenberg’s marching orders as representative of the U. S. War Refugee Board?  The fact that this label describes the way in which Wallenberg actually conducted various aspects of his mission would indicate that this was central to its structure.  For example, the heroic story refers to Wallenberg’s threats to his adversaries that they would be tried and hanged – if they persisted in their crimes against humanity.  Was this personal bravado or, in fact, part of his function as a diplomaticheskiy nadsmotr?  From the testimonies of a few individuals who worked or claimed to have worked with Wallenberg, we know that he collected evidence of atrocities – not only against the Jews but against Hungarians in Transylvania and – as two witnesses have testified – even related to Katyn.  Some of these existed in photographic form.  Those photographs are missing.  Although there is no actual proof that he took them with him to meet the Soviets, it is presumed.

 

Wallenberg’s efforts to re-establish justice were an essential part of his rescue and reconstruction mission.  The atrocities he documented, the account books he kept could have been every bit as much a reason for his arrest as the rumor that he was an American agent.  Iver Olsen – Wallenberg’s War Refugee Board contact in Stockholm – denied that Wallenberg was ever part of the American OSS.  In fact, the American government – at least after the death of President Roosevelt in April 1945 – seemed to know little about the man.  A CIA document dated March 31, 1955 from the American Embassy in Stockholm to Horsey, Deputy Director at the Department of State, after a meeting with Swedish official Gunnar Jarring, summarizes Wallenberg’s mission in Budapest as follows:  For your information, Wallenberg, who is a nephew of the influential banking Wallenbergs, was assigned by the Foreign Office to Budapest in 1944 to be in charge of their Foreign Interests Section, but, more particularly, to try to do something for the Jews who were suffering severely under the German occupation. (Underlinings mine).

 

While this point has been debated and denied, it should be noted that the Foreign Interest Sector was the very division of the Swedish Legation in Budapest responsible for overseeing Soviet interests in Hungary against those of ‘Fascist Germany.’  If indeed Wallenberg was technically in charge of the Sector – any protection afforded German-owned property or industry in Hungary or of Hungarian national or Jewish valuables being removed from there to Germany/Austria in the wake of advancing Soviet troops would not be interpreted by Moscow as representing Soviet interests.  Further to this, any evidence or knowledge which Wallenberg possessed related to atrocities in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine, ‘aktions’ most often attributed to General Serov (Ivanov) with the approval of Stalin—would have placed him in imminent danger.  As Baroness Elizabeth Kemeny-Fuchs has commented, Wallenberg was ‘naïve when it came to the Russians.’ 

 

German Police Attache Gustav Richter, Wallenberg’s first cellmate in Moscow in February 1945, also commented that Wallenberg’s official mandate was somehow coordinated with ‘protection’ or ‘protective powers.’  In the course of our conversations, Herr Wallenberg told me that he had been sent to Budapest in an official capacity (amtlicher Eigenschaft) in order to carry out a protective mandate (Schutzmachtauftrag).5  While on the surface this could refer to Wallenberg’s diplomatic status for his humanitarian mission, we must dig deeper to determine the way in which it was licensed and structured in order to understand its true intention.  Was it to save lives or to save interests?  Wallenberg’s efforts to save Jewish lives by making deals while, at the same time, keeping Hungarian economy and certain interests intact, may account for the conflict between protecting Jews and their property (a mandate of the Western Allies’ “Safe Haven” program) and protecting Soviet interests in Hungary.

 

We see signs of this in that, after Wallenberg’s arrest, Sector B of the Foreign Interests Sector of the Swedish Legation was forbidden by the military command to represent any foreign powers  All foreigners (i.e, all non-Russians and non-Hungarians, therefore really also Swedes) would be referred to the City commandant’s Foreign Bureau which, as mentioned earlier, was headed by the former Swedish Embassy officer, Count Tolstoy. Tolstoy, described by the head of Polish intelligence in Budapest as an ‘anti-Semitic pro-Fascist agent of the NKVD’, had kept diligent notes on both Raoul Wallenberg and the Wallenberg family’s interests in Hungary, according to one archival expert.  Tolstoy’s file in the SVR (Foreign Intelligence archives) has not been shown to the Swedish side in spite of repeated requests.

 

While we have neither enough information about Wallenberg’s mission nor any known analogy for the Soviet use of the term diplomaticheskiy nadsmotr to evaluate this matter further, we do know that whatever was recorded on Wallenberg’s registration card was not done arbitrarily but corresponded to materials to be found in his archival investigative file.  In this case, “ Passport 248, Foreign Ministry of Sweden,” is even written on Wallenberg’s card just underneath the term diplomaticheskiy nadsmotr.   Judging from the contents of the files we have seen, we may assume that this term was not introduced by Wallenberg himself during the intake interview.  Had it been, it would have been inscribed – “By his own words.”   Furthermore, as will be discussed in Section II. DEATH, there are certain aspects to the incompletion of the card which would indicate that it had not been retrieved from the kartoteka of Lubyanka Prison where it belonged, but from the back of his file – which we have been told is missing, or destroyed.

 

The question is whether Wallenberg’s seemingly neutral mission had more sensitive political overtones as well. We can see from Wallenberg’s calendar for Budapest – returned by the Soviets in 1989 – that he had a number of meetings with representatives of different political factions in Hungary.  One of the first was with Dr. Geza Soos – diplomat of both the Cultural and Scandinavian Departments of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry.  By November 1944, Soos – a pastor and jurist – had become the Secretary and head of the Magyar Fucggetlensegi Mozgalom (MFM) in the absence of Domokos Szent-Ivanyi who was in Moscow negotiating the Armistice.  The OSS in Caserta in their search for Soos in November 1944 had both Per Anger and Wallenberg’s names as those who would know where he was to be found.  After the arrest of the military leadership of the MFM by the Gestapo, Soos – who had been in hiding – escaped to Italy with a separate peace proposal for the West.  These papers, taken from him by Allied interrogators, are missing as well.

 

In addition to all the known political figures with whom Wallenberg had meetings, he also met on November 26 and December 3 1944 with members of the EXZ, a secret nationalist society whose members included Catholic and Protestant leadership, aristocracy and clergy working together toward a pro-democratic unity in Hungary.  Among these was former Hungarian Prime Minister Count Istavan Bethlen, a leader of the Smallholders Party.  Bethlen had hidden from the Germans since their occupation in March 1944; the Soviets kept him under ‘house arrest.’   To prevent Bethlen from becoming reinvolved in the political life of the country, particularly because of his pro-British orientation, Bethlen was also arrested by Smersh at the orders of Molotov and brought to Moscow where – by some reports –  he was interrogated by Abakumov.  He died on October 5, 1946 from paralysis of the heart.  But Bethlen was old – Wallenberg only thirty-two at the time of his arrest.  Espionage aside, Wallenberg’s connections with a number of different networks made him a valuable source for the Soviets.  His age gave him a good chance for survival – at least until he had been ‘thoroughly debriefed’ in the course of his investigation, which normally took six to seven years.

 

There is, on the other hand, another important aspect to Wallenberg’s registration card that should be considered: the fact that he was registered at Lubyanka (Internal Prison Moscow) under his name.  The Lubyanka Possessions Registry for 1945 also shows him entering and exiting from Internal Prison under his name.  The importance of this can be seen in the disclaimer introduced in the Gromyko Memorandum of 1957.  The Soviet authorities thoroughly examine archives related to prisoners and their investigative files in order to find possible information about Wallenberg.  But as a result of these measures, one cannot find any data that Wallenberg was in the Soviet Union.  It became clear that no one who was debriefed knew anyone whose name is Wallenberg.  In short, those who might have known the name of Wallenberg are dead, no longer actively involved in the administration, or not about to reveal themselves.  If Wallenberg did still exist as a prisoner of the Soviet Gulag, it could only be under a (number or) different name.  This is the equivalent of being ‘lost in the Gulag’, only instead of this being a problem of a vast territory with no coordinated tracking system, we are referring to a highly centralized ‘watch’ system which can recall a prisoner to Moscow even from the Far East in a matter of days and which can oversee from afar a select group of prisoners whose identities have been erased.

 

The fact that Wallenberg, in February 1945, was lured to Moscow and introduced to the prison system under his real name should be compared to the treatment of the members of the Polish Government in Exile who had been invited to a meeting in Moscow in March of that year.  Rounded up and arrested by Serov (Ivanov), the members of this group were immediately numbered – starting with Number 2 for Okulicki, as the leader of the Home Army (who died in December 1946 as the result of a hunger strike) or Deputy Premier Jan Stanislaw Jankowski, an important figure in Polish counter-intelligence, particularly after the death of Premier Sikorski at Gibraltar in 1943.  Jankowski died just prior to the end of his term in March 1953.  The rest of the numbered Poles, all of whom appeared in a public show trial in June 1945, were given less severe terms and repatriated.

 

The ‘Polish arrested” were numbered solely for the period they were under investigation.

They appeared for public trial under their names, after which they were known as ‘the convicted Okulicki,’ etc.  During the investigative period, their identities were hidden from prison personnel by their numbers, while they underwent intense interrogation under the jurisdiction of the Especially Important Matters Division.  Another group that was numbered, as early as 1943, were the leaders of the Baltic nations arrested in the Penza, Kubishev or Tambov regions in 1941 (where, presumably, they too had been invited for their protection and safekeeping.) Until 1946 these families were held in Kirov Internal Prison, after which they were transferred to Ivanovo MGB – with a slight adjustment in numbers in keeping with what would appear to be a more centralized system controlled by Moscow Central.  One member of this group – Prisoner Number 12 – was sent to Kazan Psychiatric Prison hospital to undergo treatment – again under his number, not his name.   These prisoners were under the jurisdiction of the 2nd Main Directorate. They were held under investigation until 1952 when they were brought to Moscow to be sentenced.  After sentencing, they received new numbers and were sent to Vladimir where – in late 1953 – like the other numbered prisoners known to us, they were allowed to resume use of their name.  Except for those who died, the majority of these prisoners were repatriated to their respective homelands in 1954. 

 

Wallenberg – and perhaps Langfelder’s case – tend toward the opposite.  For the first two years of their detention – although the Soviets would not openly admit to their respective governments that they had seized them – these men were permitted a number of different cellmates who knew them by their names.  They were processed under their names.  Their presence within the contingent of prisoners was established – both orally and written.  We have seen documents indicating that by April 1947, a decision had been prepared – but not yet reported – regarding Wallenberg’s fate.  This decision could as easily have involved his ‘disappearance’ as his death.  The evidence supporting this is that while Wallenberg and Langfelder’s names have been either cut out or blotted out of different registries (the manual removal of their names), no attempt has been made to account for their deaths in the regular way (register their deaths but fake the cause of death). 

 

In their cases then, they may have been tried in closed session by OSO (the Special Tribunal) in a trial they probably were not permitted to attend, so they never saw the evidence or knew the charges against them.  After their sentencing, they would be sent out of Moscow as a Numbered Prisoner or under another name, while those in charge of their cases would retain their true identity (as noted on their original registration card) in an envelope at the back of their new file.  Even if this identity was changed from place to place, this sequence of identities could be noted by holding their registration cards.  This may explain why Langfelder’s card is still missing and Wallenberg’s – which was returned – makes no mention of his return to Lubyanka in March 1947, much less of his alleged death in July 1947.  This establishes the time when the card was removed from the general kartoteka as being late February 1947, perhaps even the very day that Roedl was sent on ahead to Lubyanka and Wallenberg kept somewhere other than Cell 203 Lefortovo. 

 

The documents the Russians have presented establish that Raoul Wallenberg was registered under his name from his initial registration in February 1945 through his transfer from Lefortovo Prison to Lubyanka on March 1, 1947 – at least until his interrogation by Kuzmishin on March 11, 1947.  Therefore, if he ‘died’ or ‘disappeared’ some document should exist to inform those departments whose function it is to confirm a prisoner’s status or whereabouts of what had happened.  Even if Wallenberg’s death/disappearance constituted ‘exceptional’ circumstances, the process of clearing and removing his paper trail would require some order – oral or written – warning the official trying to follow the normal procedures not to inquire any further.

 

 

Wallenberg’s Investigative Process

 

Not knowing the charges against Wallenberg at the point of his initial arrest, it is difficult to predict his course.  All that we know comes from documents provided by the Russian side of the Swedish-Russian Working Group since 1991. While it has been openly claimed that Wallenberg was accused by the Soviets of being an American spy, there are definite indications that he was also considered as a German collaborator, a British agent and a member of Swedish intelligence.  The latter was rumored particularly in Glasnost when the Russians returned Wallenberg’s possessions and stated they had made a tragic mistake.  In trying to identify the nature of the ‘mistake’ it was mentioned by Russian experts that the Soviets were looking for a Swedish intelligence agent but may have arrested the wrong man.

 

According to the authorities and his cellmates, Wallenberg was interrogated rarely in the beginning (February – May 1945), although the eyewitnesses recollected more frequency than the documents turned over by the Russian side would confirm.  We know of only five Wallenberg interrogations through the Russian side of the Working Group, ranging from February 8, 1945 to March 11, 1947, all under Smersh or its later incarnation, the 4th Department of the Third Main Directorate.   As the Swiss diplomats Meyer and Feller were also interrogated rarely, we may see this as an example of neutral diplomats who are essentially being held as pawns in the international game. 

 

Yet witnesses such as the Italian diplomat, Claudio di Mohr (who claimed Wallenberg was still alive in 1948) -- judging from the sounds related to Wallenberg, and his cellmate Willi Roedl, emanating from an adjacent and/or audible cell in Lefortovo -- stated that the two were taken out frequently at night for interrogation.  One would expect a prisoner as knowledgeable and diversely connected as Wallenberg to have been a valuable source for the various Soviet foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence units as they sharpened their tools in preparation for the Cold War.   A first step was always identification of personalities in other countries, for which Wallenberg’s calendar and address books – returned in 1989 – served a useful purpose.  In this regard, retired KGB officials Sergei A. Kondrashev stated that he served as interpreter for one interrogation in April 1947 in which Wallenberg answered questions related to names on a sheet -- so calmly and openly that Kondrashev was convinced the man was innocent.

 

Of the known Wallenberg interrogations, there are two which stand out because they overlap with those of other figures potentially related to Wallenberg’s fate. The first is Wallenberg’s interrogation of April 28, 1945, coincidental with Burashnikov and Kopelyansky’s joint  interrogation of Count Istavan Bethlen and Rassypinski’s of Deputy Premier Jan Stanislaw Jankowski.  We do not know the subject of the Wallenberg interrogation (unless Kondrashev has confused the year), nor can Jankowski’s be found, but the authorities have informed us that the Bethlen interrogation involved biographical data, connection with the Senate and Foreign Affairs Committee of Hungary, politicians in the West and withdrawal from the War – in other words, offers of separate peace. (Underlinings mine).

 

In late August and early September 1944, a number of Hungarian peace feelers went out toward the Western Allies – in Madrid, Istanbul and Bern.  The most detailed came through discussions between ‘the young Count Bethlen’ and a British representative in Spain while Regent Horthy remained in closed council in Buda with ‘the old Count Bethlen’, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs de Kanya and former Prime Minister, Gyula Karolyi.  While the proposals for action vacillated between turning on the Germans and making it impossible for them to hold a line on the Danube’ to relying upon German aid to defend Hungary against a Russo-Rumanian invasion, one point remained firm: Regent has ordered the deportation of Jews to cease and Hungarian Government alone (as opposed to the occupying Germans) will henceforth handle the question.  In this one respect at least, one can identify the task of Raoul Wallenberg.  Wallenberg, who was to have returned to Stockholm at that time, actually remained in Budapest while members of the Hungarian ‘Crown Council’ deliberated how best to effect an armistice – to the Allies through the neutral legations in Budapest or through the commander-in-chief of the Red Army.

 

Deputy Premier of the Polish Government in London, Jankowski, operating in Eastern Europe under the code name ‘Sobol’, contributed to the rescue of Jews by providing Polish intelligence to the World Jewish Congress and the Joint Distribution Committee.  On April 15, 1944, for example, he wrote:

 

From Teresienstadt in the Protectorate where the Czech Jews are concentrated, the Germans – under the guise of giving them jobs – moved 7,000 Jews to Auschwitz.  Two weeks later they gassed them.  Before they killed them (the Germans) took from them written letters to their cousins and friends with description of their good working conditions  This is a trap for the next groups…In Hungary there are presently 800,000 Jews.  The Germans have started already their action to liquidate them…Here in Poland the action of tracking and liquidating the Jews is still on…

 

The leaders of Poland and Hungary both faced grave danger from two opposing totalitarian forces intent on occupying their countries and subduing their national spirit. In Hungary a firm stand on the Jewish question was presented as a positive reason for the Anglo-American forces to consider a separate peace in spite of their commitment to Stalin in 1943 of ‘unconditional surrender.’ As a Government in Exile, the Poles were involved in a different aspect of the Jewish question. While Hungary until the German occupation offered a safe haven to the Jews, Polish intelligence through Jankowski provided an important network for intelligence gathering for Polish, Allied and Jewish questions.  The Catholic component of this network, through the Prince Primate families, assisted in the rescue of prisoners of war and, in some cases, Jews.  Their network reached from Cracow to the Vatican.  It was to Baron Apor, Hungarian Minister to the Vatican, that Geza Soos, a Reformed Church leader, jurist and Secretary  of the Hungarian resistance movement MFM, carried the final Hungarian separate peace offer to the Allies – which was  intercepted in Caserta/Bari.  These papers also have disappeared.  

 

How these networks cooperated in the rescue of Jews and prisoners of war and in the documenting of  atrocities is the subject of a greater work.  One should note, in terms of the interrogation in question on April 28, 1945  that none of these three men – Wallenberg, Bethlen or Jankowski – were ever repatriated to their homelands. 

 

The second interrogation which shows an overlap of case-related individuals is that performed by Kopelyansky on July 17, 1946 – one year before Wallenberg’s alleged death date.  On that day,  Kopelyansky interrogated Wallenberg, Langfelder, Van der Waals and Braun in Lefortovo Prison.  In the cases of Wallenberg and Langfelder there is an actual overlap in time – indicating that the investigator went back and forth between their respective interrogation rooms.  What question was he pursuing that he used this interesting procedure?  (Or, was someone of an extremely high rank present but Kopelyansky signed for both.)  While we have been told that Wallenberg and Langfelder’s files are missing, we have requested protocols of interrogation for Van der Waals and Braun for that date to see if we can determine the line of inquiry.  These too have not been forthcoming.   Again we should note that all four of these men did not make it to freedom.  Wallenberg allegedly died in 1947, Langfelder in March 1948, Van der Waals of tuberculosis in August 1948, Braun of the same in Verchne Uralsk in 1953.

 

 

The Question of Sentencing in relation to ‘Liquidation’

 

Both the Russian side of the Swedish-Russian Working Group, and Alexander Yakovlev of the Presidential Commission for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression under Stalin  have stated that Raoul Wallenberg was never sentenced.  This is an extremely important claim – first, it cannot be established as fact without referring to Wallenberg’s investigative file and/or establishing the identity of every prisoner sentenced 1947 – 1952 by the Military Tribunal or OSO (Special Tribunal) – including numbered prisoners.  Secondly, as both Russian inquiries are claiming Wallenberg died from execution – whether by lethal injection or shooting – this would also imply a sentence or decision.  (Oggins, who was said to have been killed by lethal injection in 1947 had been sentenced long before – his term was about to expire.  Gfrorener was sentenced by the Military Tribunal to death by shooting in February 1952 and was actually shot in April of that same year.) 

 

What is being implied here by the current Russian execution claims is that Wallenberg’s death was ordered while he was still under investigation.  There is something wrong with this – especially since in 1947, judging from the other prisoners with whom Wallenberg sat or whose case was related, his investigative process was barely underway.  Recruiting was not the only consideration of the Soviet investigating bodies – there was a tremendous amount of information to be gleaned from a ‘talking man.’ 

 

Valeri Boldin, in an article in Top Secret, March 1999 stated that among the documents found in Stalin’s safe immediately upon his death in March 1953 were stenographic transcripts of Wallenberg’s interrogations as well as communications from Abakumov regarding a prisoner Mueller being held in a special site in the Urals.  (The claim that Eichmann’s boss, Heinrich ‘Gestapo’Mueller, was held by the Soviets has been made both by Walter Schellenberg in 1948 and the KGB defector Deriabin in 1971.)   The investigators told Abakumov that they received all the data they needed from Mueller – and wanted to know if the prisoner should be kept on or if the case should be closed for good, so information on the person does not leak.  It should be noted that all the activity in the Spring of 1947 to resolve the problem of Wallenberg’s known captivity followed a leak by two Soviet security men at a cocktail party in Moscow, where it was revealed to the Swedes that Wallenberg was in Moscow prisons and under the watch of top security officials.  In this context, it is the ‘leak’ which must be resolved, not the execution of a man whose knowledge could prove useful in Cold War realpolitik.

 

General Yevgeni Pitovranov, head of the 2nd Main Directorate (Counter-Intelligence) at the time that Abakumov was in charge of the 3rd (Military Counter-Intelligence), stated to Swedish television in 1992: “Stalin needed him (Wallenberg) in the big political game and would never have executed him…. His death was a mistake.”  And, indeed, ‘a mistake’ is the only possible explanation for what could have happened in 1947, if it happened then.  First, none of the appropriate medical personnel who usually sign off on the death of prominent foreign prisoners are taking responsibility for what happened.  This is left to A. L. Smoltsov of the Sanitary Unit of Lubyanka Prison.  Smoltsov, according to Yakovlev, had already been dismissed for reasons of health on March 21 1947 and was not working on July 17/18, 1947 when his note describing the death of one Walenberg by heart attack was supposedly written.  By 1957, when Smoltsov’s note surfaced in support of the Gromyko Memorandum suggesting Wallenberg’s death, the doctor was also deceased. 

Secondly, one KGB expert has made the point that the reason the akt had to be witnessed was to establish that the death was not the result of violence or foul play.  Item 8 of Abakumov’s report to Stalin of July 17, 1947 on investigative procedures in dealing with a prisoner does not rule out such a possibility. 

 

The MGB organs according to the CC VCP (B) (Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party) instructions of 10 January 1939 use measures of physical coercion toward spies convicted by investigation, saboteurs, terrorists and other active enemies of the Soviet people who impertinently refuse to give away their accomplices and do not testify:  In the Center – with the sanction of MGB USSR.  In the regions – with the sanctions of State Security Ministers of republics and of heads of (regional) Departments of MGB.

 

This paragraph is, however, particularly controversial to the Russian side of the Working Group who maintain that there were specific orders not to use torture and that this compilation – attributed to Abakumov -- may not in fact be a ‘real’ document.  The files themselves would confirm that the investigators kept watch over their prisoners, as in the cases of Kitschman or Gerstenberg, sending them to the doctors for evaluation to see if they could withstand further interrogation.

 

Thirdly, if a decision was made to liquidate Wallenberg in the sense of ‘execution’, it would have required a sentence by Military Tribunal or a sequence of discussions within the circle of the highest level of Soviet leadership, followed by a decision and then an order, with a witnessed document to affirm that it had been carried out.  No one is admitting responsibility for this either.  They do however acknowledge – even volunteer the fact – that on May 26, 1947 rasstriel (death by shooting) was canceled and not resumed until January 12, 1950 in anticipation of the Leningrad trails, which ultimately became part of Abakumov’s downfall.  Reintroduced, the penalty was to apply to traitors to the country, spies and subversive diversionaries – and other groups of political offenders.  On April 30, 1954, its use was extended to apply to cases of murder.

 

Much of the argument related to the recent speculations that Wallenberg was executed, either by shooting or lethal injection, relies on the absence of  documentation to eliminate contradiction.  (That is, without documentation – the truth can never be affirmed one way or another.)   Conviction that stories of Wallenberg’s execution are true are sparked by the ‘common knowledge’ that in Stalinist times quick, retaliatory executions were everyday. Former KGB official Ilya Dzhirkvelov repeatedly makes the point – both in relation to purges of Party leadership or assassinations as prepared by Liter L, the ‘Liquidatsia’ unit, under Sudoplatov -- that these procedures were not done in a climate of total lawlessness organized by the NKVD and Stalin personally but were carried out in strict accordance with laws that are still in force today.   

 

Dzhirkvelov also states that the only exception to the rule of a collective decision involving members of the Politburo with a particular connection to the KGB was when Beria was in charge of Soviet intelligence and counter-intelligence: he had the right to approve such operations and to inform Stalin about them orally.  While the Soviets who prepared the Gromyko Memorandum of 1957 attributed such license-to-kill to Abakumov, Beria’s role in defining the ‘exception’ should be considered further.   

 

 

 

 

If Wallenberg Was Sentenced, When?

 

Had Wallenberg been sentenced rather than killed, my calculations would show that the earliest date this could have happened – given the procedures in question -- would have been June of 1947.  In such a case, the charges against him would most likely have been ‘Counter-Revolutionary Activities’, i.e. involvement with nationalist, religious or international networks opposed to Soviet occupation or influence in Central and Eastern Europe.   The preparations for this trial would coincide with his period of Wallenberg’s isolation in Lubyanka/Lefortovo prisoners starting March 1, 1947 until a decision was made and his file sent to OSO.  Prisoners accused of Counter-Revolutionary crimes are to be isolated from other prisoners and from recidivists. A sentence for Counter-Revolutionary crimes was generally lighter than that for espionage.  Those in the group with whom Wallenberg had been initially placed were not given their 15-25 year sentences for espionage until 1951-52, after more than a hundred interrogations in several cases

 

Bearing in mind that prisoners associated with this case did on occasion receive more than one sentence, this initial sentencing in 1947 carrying a term of ten years or less would serve the positive function of removing Wallenberg from Moscow prisons.  When the sentence is passed or decision made by OSO (Secret Tribunal), the prisoner is to be moved from investigation cell to convicted cell and then sent way….Convicted prisoners cannot stay in prison more than ten days after the Prosecutor’s decision comes into force or the OSO decision is announced.  Under exceptional circumstances, the prisoner can be detained for operational purposes for up to two months by a written order from the head of the UNKVD or his deputy, with indication of the purpose.  In 1947, this would have involved an order from Selivanovsky and/or Abakumov of the MGB.  It should be noted that prisoners Shulgin, Volkov and Kutepov as well as Numbered Prisoner 15 – all sentenced by OSO on June 26, 1947 arrived in Vladimir Prison either on July 25th in the case of those named, or August 3rd in the case of Number 15.   Eyewitnesses have reported that Wallenberg was first sent to Vladimir at the same time as Shulgin.  This not only conforms to the above definition of an exception, but would reinforce the theory that Wallenberg might have been Number 14.

 

 

This brings us to the question of concealing a prisoner’s identity by numbering him or her, or giving him or her a pseudonym.  By studying the sequence of numbered prisoners sentenced by OSO at that time (the Spring/Summer 1947 until May of 1948) I was able to determine that there exist only six available numbers to account for the possible disappearance of three men – Raoul Wallenberg, Vilmos Langfelder and Sandor Katona who was brought with Langfelder to Lubyanka Prison on July 23, 1947 where Langfelder was questioned extensively, for over eleven hours.  These numbers will be discussed further in III. DISAPPEARANCE but are being mentioned now to remind the reader that there existed a clear cut option to ‘liquidation’ as execution and an apparatus to implement it which was very much in place.

 

 

 

The Question of ‘Liquidatsia’

 

We know now, through documents provided by the Russian side, that Wallenberg’s presence in Moscow prisons under the MGB was known to representatives of the Soviet Foreign Ministry as early as 1946.  We would expect Stalin, Molotov and Beria, (hence Vishinsky, Lozowski and Dekanozow as their deputies), to have been aware of  Wallenberg’s capture soon after his arrest.  In a communique between Borashnikov of the 3rd Main Directorate and Chebotarev of the Foreign Ministry regarding the case, it was stated to MID: it would be desirable if Comrade Vishinsky gave a call to Comrade Abakumov on this issue.  This was followed by an oral communication between Fedotov, of MGB, and Rodionov of February 1947 informing him that Wallenberg was raspodejene, ‘under the control of the MGB.’  In a follow up report from Vietrov to Vishinsky dated April 2, 1947 we learn: Comrade Fedotov promised to report to Molotov about the reasons for Wallenberg’s detention and also to give the proposals on further measures on the issue.  However, according to Fedotov’s information this issue has not been reported yet but has been already prepared. We therefore cannot assume that Vishinsky’s denial of August 18, 1947, “As a result of a careful investigation it has been established that Wallenberg is not in the Soviet Union and that he is unknown to us,” was based on ignorance of the real facts of Raoul Wallenberg’s status.  

 

The question then is whether Vishinsky’s response of August 18, 1947 was intended to conceal Wallenberg’s alleged execution on July 17, 1947, or was rather a standard statement issued to foreign governments inquiring after prisoners of war to avoid endless diplomatic wrangling for their return. Similar language, for instance, has been seen in a reply by Vishinsky to the British regarding the warrant officer, Sir Reginald Barrett, also arrested in Hungary.  It also was expressed by Novikov in relation to Nils Hilding Jorganson, a Managing Director of the von Oppeln Company, who disappeared on February 5th, 1945 near Dresden.  Inform you that the Swedish subject is not detected on the territory of the Soviet occupation zone.

 

While the intention reflected in the Vishinsky memorandums of 1947 is always ambiguous, his catalytic role in shaping Wallenberg’s fate seems clear.  The most critical document, religiously evoked to establish the Soviets’ intention to kill Wallenberg in 1947, is that of Vishinsky to Foreign Minister Molotov of May 14, 1947.  Here Vishinsky notes that – in response to repeated inquiries from the Swedish government, he has requested clarification from Smersh (“Death to Spies”) and later the Minister of State Security (both Abakumov) regarding the fate of Raoul Wallenberg.  Insofar as the case remains unresolved until the present moment –i.e., nothing is moving; no one cares to resolve it – I ask you to order Abakumov to present information on the subject of this affair and suggestions for its liquidatsia.   Molotov wrote on the same document to Abakumov: Report to me.

 

The controversy that exists among experts – both scholars and former KGB officials as well as the Russian representatives – is whether this word ‘liquidatsia’ refers to Raoul Wallenberg, the man, or the problem generated by his presence as a captive inside the Soviet Union.  Is this a simple matter of ‘reporting back’ or a more sinister ‘hint’ to execute the man?

 

Interpreters in the West have, with great conviction, latched upon this word ‘liquidatsia’ to mean ‘death’, as indeed it would have meant if speaking of the Holocaust.  However, it is very important – in the absence of Wallenberg’s file – to place this language in a context. Take, for example, the parallel cases of PRISONER S and PRISONER C, two pro-Allied Hungarians arrested in the Budapest region, who were held in Lefortovo Prison for years without being interrogated.  We inform you that according to Abakumov’s instructions, (PRISONER C)  is to be kept in Internal Prison without the usual documentation until special instructions….” (17 December 1946).   Two years later, protesting violations of investigative procedure, Ionov, Chief of Lefortovo, wrote a succession of letters to the Chief of Section A, Major Burashnikov (October 1948), to the head of the Investigative Section for Especially Important Matters, Leonov (January 28, 1949): and the Chief of the 2nd Main Directorate, Pitovranov (December 30, 1949).  Ionov was particularly explicit in his letter to Leonov when he stated that, in spite of repeated oral and written attempts to resolve the matter, it remained as before.  The indicated sections do not wish to acknowledge them as their prisoners.  I request explanation and to take all measures to move the question ahead. (Underlinings mine). 

 

In view of the parallel between Ionov’s language ‘to take all measures to move the question ahead’ and Vishinsky’s to Molotov, to present information on the subject of this affair and suggestions about its liquidatsia’ (meaning to report on it so that a decision could be made) it is important to pay close attention to the means taken to put an end to the problem in the cases of PRISONERS S and C.    Ionov had written to a number of different offices in an attempt to determine who was responsible for these prisoners.  While he applied to the division of Especially Important Matters and to the 2nd Main Directorate – both of whom prepared cases for sentencing – his reply came from Department A on the 10th of February 1950. Not to give a report on the arrest of the arrested…PRISONER C (year of birth 1920) and PRISONER S (year of birth 1912) in Lefortovo Prison.

 

However, on April 13, 1950, charges were finally placed against PRISONER S as an agent of British intelligence (PRISONER C was in fact a British officer).  Both were sentenced on July 1, 1950 and sent to Vladimir Prison as numbered prisoners 24 and 26 respectively.  Together with PRISONER P, a Hungarian officer with contacts – it is rumored -- with both the British and  Soviet intelligence, these three form a series.  They were sentenced together by OSO on July 1, 1950.  Together they traveled to Vladimir where they were placed in Corpus II.  All three were repatriated.  Their cards appear in the kartoteka, along with that of another unknown Hungarian – Prisoner Number One – whose card bears the label ‘American spy.’  

 

PRISONER S and PRISONER C’s  cases were, in their way, a violation of the norm.  And yet when Ionov sounded the alarm, the solution was not to kill the prisoners to remove the problem of an illegal or undocumented arrest.  It was rather to come to a decision – i.e., arrest, sentence and send him out as a numbered prisoner – all within a matter of months.  Their numbering does not reflect the system’s desire to conceal a violation from itself – assuming that is even possible – but rather to resolve the problem by sending them into a facility that provided strict isolation, where there identities would be unknown.  This was especially important because both men were valued by the British – PRISONER S because he had housed Special Operatives Executive personnel in Hungary and PRISONER C because he was a Lieutenant in the “British Army” in Hungary (an Army created by the British using Hungarian personnel).   Their return had been repeatedly requested, as well as clarifications of their fates, by the Foreign Office.    In other words, in their cases as in Wallenberg/Langfelder’s, there is pressure to resolve the cases (come to a decision) from without, through diplomatic channels, and within (holding to prison administrative regulations).

 

This ‘disappearance’ format corresponds to information provided by one ex-KGB official asked to comment on the Vishinsky and Gromyko Memorandums.  Without hesitation, he interpreted “liquidatsia” to refer to the removal of a problem, not the execution of a man.  The procedures defined to move the issue ahead, to resolve it, were common knowledge to him. The prisoner was numbered or given another name and sent either to the East – or some place where he would not be seen – while those who had been witnesses to his presence were rounded up and interrogated to determine what was known about  him.  Once this information could be summarized, they were placed in isolation for a time to intimidate them not to speak of  the presence of the prisoner in Moscow prisons.  Which is what happened. 

 

 

 

 

The Primary Witnesses

 

On July 22,1947 Kartashov as head of the 4th Department, Third Main Directorate – and Kuzmishin, head of the Investigative Unit of OVD, interrogated a series of prisoners who had sat with either Wallenberg or Langfelder and then sent them into isolation.  Those called in did not include two important witnesses – at least one of whom had sat with both Wallenberg and Langfelder.  They did include Langfelder himself who was interrogated by both Kuzmishin and Kartashov.  Without access to his file, we do not know if these interrogations included that of Willi Roedl who had been Raoul Wallenberg’s cellmate in Moscow prisons from March of 1945 until the end of February 1947.  In fact, with the exception of Roedl who died of a heart attack on October 15, 1947 en route to Camp 27/Krasnogorsk, and Langfelder whose death date is alleged as March 1948 – none of these witnesses died around that time.  Those whose testimonies we have received were obviously repatriated to the West, as was Schauer, one of Wallenberg’s original cellmates, who never came forward to testify.  So the situation was not so severe that it required a radical remedy, namely an execution, to silence the witnesses.   It required only operational circumspection.

 

In relation to this we have the testimony of the interrogator Solovyov before the Working Group in 1991, quoted by Ambassador Magnusson in his Report.  According to Solovyov, sometime in 1947:

 

Section Chief Kulesjov made a list and a diagram which showed which prisoners had sat with Raoul Wallenberg.  On the diagram was noted all information about cell numbers, etc. so that the paths of his cellmates in the future should not be crossed with other prisoners who did not know Raoul Wallenberg.

 

The result of this diagram was not simply to call the prisoners Richter, Schlittler, Krafft, Pelkonen, Huber, Kitschmann for questioning on July 22, 1947.  After Hille was brought from Krasnogorsk and Loyda from Odessa Repatriation Camp in January 1948, the prisoners on this list (with the exception of Roedl who was dead) were paired for years, moving together even from prison to prison.  Loyda was placed in a cell with the Swiss spy Hans Hoffstetter while Hille became the long term cellmate of Pelkonen.  From then on, with very few interruptions, Richter sat with Kitschman, Schlitter with Huber, while Grossheim-Krisko, (the only other member of the Swedish Legation besides Wallenberg to be arrested and brought to Moscow) sat with Janos Sokets (Sokachs) the Hungarian Trade Attache in Sofia.  Admiral Krafft – who does not appear to have been interrogated at that time although he sat with Langfelder – was placed in Moscow with  Stahel and later with von Kleist.  Krafft, Stahel and von Kleist Senior all died in Vladimir Prison before they could be repatriated.

 

The one exception to this system occurred with the move to Butyrka where Huber, for a few days starting March 8, 1951, was placed with Pelkonen and Hille, both Langfelder witnesses.  From that point on, he appears to have been separated from Schlitter and indeed, upon sentencing, each was sent to a different prison to be placed in strict isolation – Huber to Vladimir, Schlitter to Alexandrovsk MGB in the Irkutsk region.  While many of the others – like Grossheim-Krisko and Richter, both of whom were held because of their connection to an especially important prisoner – were also supposed to be isolated after their conviction, within a reasonable amount of time they were again sharing a cell with their old mates.  

 

As noted by Hans Magnusson, one interesting side effect of this pairing phenomena is that none of these ‘primary witnesses’ ever came to the conclusion that either Wallenberg or Langfelder were being held in Vladimir.  Their discussions and turmoil over the issue was contained within their group, in some cases to a dangerous point.  But the testimonies that Wallenberg and Langfelder were to be seen in Vladimir came from witnesses from scattered networks, some of whom had been held in deep isolation in Corpuses I, II and III of Vladimir Prison – in some instances without record of their cell changes for several years.  (Two of the most interesting examples of these witnesses were the American, Wilfred Cumish, who informed one of his cellmates at Vladimir in December 1954 that he had sat with a Swede and also claims to have sat with Langfelder – successfully identifying both – and the Latvian Zigurds Kruminsch discussed at length in Dr. Marvin W. Makinen and Ari Kaplan’s report).  Others witnesses were among those  brought back from the East – from isolateurs like Alexandrovsk Central or Verchne-Uralsk MGB or camps in the Vorkuta, Rochnoi or Ozerny regions.  Their reports, standing alone, did not have the impact of the collective group of primary witnesses who sat with Wallenberg and Langfelder when they first arrived in Moscow prisons – i.e. when their presence was not being heavily concealed within the prison system.

 

Of all these primary witnesses, Schlitter and Huber fared the worst.  Huber, who had been sentenced to ten years in 1945, was called back in the Spring of 1947 and in 1951 given a second sentence of 25 years for espionage.  Schlitter, generally regarded as an informant, was given a fifteen year sentence, which did not take into account the ten years he already had served.  Schlitter was placed in strict isolation in Alexandrovsk Central until he emerged in March 1954 to sit with Prince Konoye in their Cell 49.  Huber was strictly isolated when sent to Vladimir or forced to share a cell with Numbered Prisoner 28, who was experiencing severe psychological trauma at the time, threatening to any cellmate. When Huber was finally brought out of isolation to share Cell II-17 Vladimir with Stahel, Hahn and Schmidt, he interpreted this to mean that the Wallenberg matter – had been taken care of.  He was therefore very surprised to learn upon his release that it was still unresolved. 

 

Huber attributed his extreme isolation in Vladimir – correctly or incorrectly – to having sat briefly with Langfelder in Lubyanka Prison in the Spring of 1945.  Pelkonen and Loyda shared similar fears, understandably when prisoners were often not informed of the reasons for their arrest or the evidentiary basis of the charges against them.  In Huber's case one might also question whether the severity of his punishment did not reflect confidences shared with Schlitter over a period of four years.  In May of 1956, after the Swedish government had presented the testimonies of the returning eyewitnesses – Richter, Kitschman, Hille, Pelkonen, Supprian, Wallenstein, Rensinghoff, and von Hinkeldy (the last four communicated with Wallenberg and Roedl through wall tapping) – the Soviets specifically raised the question whether Schlitter had come forth to testify.  They did this carefully – using his assumed name of Schauer and stating that he was presumably in a cell with Wallenberg (when in reality a call for his file would tell them that he had been in Cells 121-123 with Richter and Wallenberg, staying on even after Richter was moved to another cell.) 

 

Why did the Soviets risk drawing attention to Schlitter/Schauer?  As Richter had already testified as to Wallenberg’s presence in Cells 121 and 123 from February 6 until March 18, 1945;  Schlitter’s testimony would add very little -- unless he had sat with Langfelder and/or with Wallenberg again, at a later date. In my Preliminary Report to the Russian side dated November 1998, I have already noted how Schlitter’s cell changes in 1947 are consistently coincidental with significant dates in the Wallenberg case at that time.  The question should be raised again whether Schlitter sat with Wallenberg in Internal Prison as early as March 1, 1947 or at any point until his alleged death date – in which case he could have provided facts that would have brought us much closer to the truth.  Alternatively, he could have sat with Wallenberg in Butyrka while Huber was sitting with Hille and Pelkonen in Cell 287 – or from any time until Schlitter was sentenced in 1951 and sent out.  He also could have shared his isolation with Wallenberg – or Langfelder – in Alexandrovsk Central (1952-54), although as yet there have been no testimonies indicating that Wallenberg was held in that prison. 

 

In spite of their severe isolation, both Schlitter and Huber were repatriated.  While Huber testified to the Swedish government regarding Langfelder, he was very afraid of his testimony being handed over in his name.  Schlitter died in 1960, Huber in 1957 – around the time of the Gromyko Memorandum when, for the first time, Wallenberg’s presence in the Soviet Union was formally acknowledged by the Soviets.  Using the Smoltsov document as supporting evidence, the Memorandum also implied that Wallenberg had died of a heart attack.  In response to this, Gustav Richter – whose testimony had done much to reverse the Vishinsky position of August 1947 – wrote to the son-in-law of a fellow prisoner: Now that the Russian note has been presented, the matter has become even more mysterious because the contradictions are obvious.  How can a man have died in 1947 when three witnesses confirm they were together with him in one cell in 1950/1951?

 

Richter’s remark is but an introduction to the one hundred or more sightings that date after the 1947 alleged death date – including those kept classified over the past thirty years, at least until the day after this report was initially released – January 11, 2001. 

 

I have refrained from releasing materials related to the other chapters (historical, investigative and sentencing, sightings of Wallenberg in prisons and camps outside of the Moscow and Vladimir regions, and the psychiatric/medical) because the data is incomplete.  In certain cases, particularly where it involves travel to regional archives throughout the former Soviet Union, this has been set aside for the ‘follow up’ phase.  In other cases, the research has been crippled by the failure of the Russian – and Swedish – sides to produce much needed information known to exist.  These include files, registries, transport records, medical records on the Russian side and the sightings – in their complete form – still classified for the past thirty years on the Swedish side, without which one cannot possibly properly cross-reference and apply the evidence at hand.

 

It is my hope that those who carefully study these materials will find themselves more equipped to deal with the question of ‘liquidatsia’ – whether it means the death of an important man, or his disappearance as a means of resolving a problem.  In so doing, I ask the readers to put aside their previous beliefs or convictions – as I have had to do – to examine the materials as they are. The tools I put before you are the building blocks of this work.  I also ask the reader to bear in mind a  few important questions in order to better analyze this case:

 

The first is: Why 1947?  What is so special about that year which made  – assuming the Soviet claim to be true – such an exception to the investigative procedures?  Did he die ‘accidentally’?  Or was he involved in an initiative against the Soviet Union so threatening that he aroused violent opposition from the Soviet leaders of the time?  If  such is the case, we do not yet know what precipitated such an explosion or possible ‘mistake.’  Certainly the fact that the Swedish government was making periodic inquiries as to Wallenberg’s fate – or that Wallenberg refused to be recruited on the first round – is insufficient reason to kill a man who was so useful to the international game.

 

Another aspect of this question: If Wallenberg did not die in 1947, but disappeared only to die later, why did the Soviet authorities choose that particular time to place his alleged death?  While the answer to the first may reflect Soviet hostility to interests abroad – the second seems directly related to the question of accountability within.  In order to explain Wallenberg’s death – some history had to be given, some scapegoat blamed – preferably prior to the 1949 signing by the Soviet Union of the articles of the Geneva Convention related to prisoners of war.   One must objectively consider the possibility of his death at a later date, when Wallenberg’s investigation was over, his refusal to be recruited seen as final.  One cannot forget that by 1957, Wallenberg’s presence in the Soviet Union was established by the repatriated prisoners so ‘disappearance’ was less of an option.  The convergence of these events, combined with the completion of a possible ten year term for Counter-Revolutionary Activities, could create an ‘urgent situation.  The crisis would not only be a diplomatic one, but would arise from within the system with its demands that a decision be made whether to repatriate the prisoner, re-sentence him, send him into exile or execute him.  If we take the analogy of Prince Konoye, it is at the 1956/57 date that one might logically fear an execution. 

 

Here we must raise the question whether the Soviets had an agent, like Colonel Stig Wennerstrom, in place as early as 1947.  If so, Stalin would not have killed Raoul Wallenberg.  He would have needed him as collateral for an eventual exchange.   Conversely, if Wallenberg lived into the late Fifties, there is no dispute about Wennerstrom’s service as a Soviet agent by that time.  Wallenberg’s value in the event of Wennerstrom’s capture would have weighed heavily in the balance when Khruschev, Molotov and Serov – among others – decided his fate. 

 

  

DEATH

 

Given the official claims of the 1957 Gromyko Memorandum suggesting Wallenberg died of a heart attack in July 1947 -- and the recent competing claims of execution by lethal injection or shooting -- one would expect the evidence produced in the year 2000 to offer conclusive proof  of Wallenberg’s death  – or at least  argue the case ’beyond reasonable doubt.’  It does not.  In fact, where the essential issues of Wallenberg’s death are concerned, the few pieces that have been added to the puzzle over the past ten years are riddled with the same ambiguity as before and are  so contradictory as to leave one with nothing to grasp.     

 

 This is a direct function of the failure of the Soviets to substantiate their claims.  The Gromyko Memorandum of February 6, 1957 is 'supported'  only by the Smoltsov Document, a handwritten note to file which – in terms of actual accounting of a death – has no legal validity.  The lethal injection claims put forth by Pavel A. Sudoplatov in his book, Special Tasks, has been strengthened by the analogy offered in the case of the American Communist Esau Oggins – but upon closer examination, and particularly as a number of documents in the Oggins sequence are missing, the parallel falls apart.  The ‘execution by shooting’ claim presented by KGB defector Gordievsky, retired KGB official Kondrashev and now Commissioner Yakovlev is contradicted by the fact that rasstriel was canceled in May of 1947 and not restored until the early Fifties.  Since the alleged hint by Vishinsky to ‘liquidate’ Wallenberg came on May 14, 1947 there would be not enough time to make such an important decision and carry it out.  In fact, this would be true in both cases – whether by lethal injection, as in the case of Oggins, or shooting, as in the case of Gfrorener in 1952 – an execution did not happen overnight.  Behind the scenes discussions were followed by formal recommendation to leadership (from Abakumov to Stalin in the case of Oggins, while Gfrorener was formally sentenced by the Military Tribunal eight months after Abakumov himself was arrested).  Deliberation was followed by a decision on the highest circle of government – after which an actual execution order could be written on the prison administrative level.  In both forms of execution, the death act would be witnessed to establish that the order had been fulfilled. 

 

No such documentation has been presented to substantiate the death claims regarding Wallenberg.  This disregard for any of the convention forms of evidence to establish a death is part of the overall projection of Wallenberg’s case – and death -- as an ’exception.’  We need to define what ‘exception’ means?  Are the authorities hinting that the ‘cause of death’ was a  ‘mistake’ – in which case is it one of ‘mistaken identity’ or of an ‘accident,’ a death that shouldn’t have happened?  Or does it refer to some internal conflict – the nature of which I would not dare to guess – in which Wallenberg proved an unfortunate pawn in a vicious battle between security chiefs? Or does it mean quite simply that those who believe he died are ‘mistaken’? 

 

Short of access to files that document other ‘exceptions’ – we are left with the barest sketch upon which to base our conclusions.  There is no actual proof of death and no documentation to give further weight to the Soviet claim, other than the presumption that in those times killing was commonplace and no attempt was made to record acts which were blatantly criminal.  This has a detrimental effect on our ability to properly evaluate the Smoltsov – the only document afforded us -- which could conceivably have been one small part of a greater body of documents describing a death, but on its own cannot serve as proof of death for reasons which will be discussed below. This in turn brings us face to face with the deeper question of why the complete body of materials – multiply-witnessed medical history, autopsy and burial certificate  -- were not produced in the case of Raoul Wallenberg from the onset.   For this would have resolved the question of his fate decades before, rather than allowing the ambiguities which have surrounded it to fester.  

 

This question is all the more valid for 1947 as we know, through the partially documented case of  Oggins, that Abakumov – the very man to whom Wallenberg’s death was attributed -- was perfectly capable of ordering a false medical history, autopsy and alteration of the actual date of death to conceal the true facts.  Why would he then draw attention to Wallenberg’s absence by failing to note it in ways that were in keeping with the normal procedures of the system?  This is all the more problematic because in 1943 Abakumov co-authored the regulations for reporting the death of a foreign prisoner both to State Security and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a good introduction to the watchfulness of the system, I quote this below.  As will be noted later, none of the criteria for reporting the death of a prisoner mentioned are observed properly in the Smoltsov note. 

 

Certain heads of prisons and camps have not informed the NKVD and KGB USSR about deaths of  foreign citizens, convicted or under investigation, in which cases the above bodies cannot inform the Ministry for Foreign Affairs USSR who is to inform embassies and missions. (1) Heads of prisons, etc. are to telegraph the information about foreign prisoners to the 1st Special Department NKVD USSR; (2) Heads of 2nd Departments NKGB-UNKGB are to telegraph about deaths of foreign prisoners under investigation to the 2nd Department of NKGB-USSR; (3) The information is to include the name, birthdate, citizenship, arresting body, date of arrest, convicting body and sentence date, term of punishment, date and cause of death.  The telegram is to be followed by a death act (sent through special communications)  Signed by Deputy Narkom, Minister of State Security Abakumov and Deputy Narkom, Commmissar of State Security, Kobulov .

 

There can be little-to-no doubt that Abakumov was fully aware of the administrative value of documenting a death in a timely manner. He also was in the ideal place to manipulate the system – whether to arrange for Wallenberg’s disappearance or to provide a false medical history to establish a death.   It would appear that he had a specific responsibility for those foreign prisoners not under the Directorate of Prisoners of War and the Interned.  For these three reasons alone, Abakumov would have been approached by Vishinsky and Molotov to recommend a procedure for the elimination of the problem caused by reports of Wallenberg’s illegal detention.  One need not jump to the conclusion that the purpose was to seek a recommendation for killing him.

 

Abakumov had the capacity to phrase the solution in terms of the norm – the procedures which he himself governed.  He could have applied the same technique for documenting Wallenberg death on July 17, 1947 as he used for that of  Oggins only a few days before.   Apparently he did not.   At least there is to date no evidence that such documents ever existed, as there should be since the reporting of a death was and is a significant act.  We have only the mysterious reference in the Council of Ministers registry of Memorandum 3044a from Abakumov to Molotov dated July 17, 1947 which presumably clarified Wallenberg’s fate.  As Susanne Berger has noted, there is evidence in the Soviet files that this document was already missing from the Foreign Ministry/Council of Minister archives by 1952, as per an inquiry prepared by the executive Chief of the 5th European Department, June 5, 1952.   

 

On the basis of the documents we have seen, there would seem to have been a secrecy surrounding the Wallenberg case even under Stalin.  Such silence – or ignorance as shown in the Vishinsky Memorandum of 1947  – is hard to accept.  Again we are faced with inuendoes as to the nature of the reply – whether ’liquidatsia’ refers to the problem of an irregular arrest, resulting in further isolation and disappearance, or to the execution of the man. Either way, the secret which obscures everything else is: who was responsible for this act if Wallenberg died, or who had him under his jurisdiction, if he disappeared but lived under the MGB/KGB watch?   Is this a collective guilt or are we dealing, as the Gromyko Memorandum would have us believe, with the strange deeds of one security chief and his deputies, acting without authorization? 

 

 

This brings us again to General Yevgeni Pitovranov’s cryptic observation to Swedish television in 1992: ”Stalin needed him (Wallenberg)…and would never have killed him..”  As the Komitet Informatsii, Committee on Information, was being formed by Stalin in 1947 to focus on political as well as military intelligence gathering, there can be no question that whoever was responsible for allowing Wallenberg’s death under his watch would have been reprimanded for the loss of a 'talking man' valuable to the international game.  And yet there is no mention of recriminations against Abakumov until 1957 and the Gromyko Memorandum when the death of Wallenberg for the first time falls under Abakumov’s many crimes.

 

 

Projections Based on the Absence of Documentation

 

The absence of any form of valid 'death documentation' – whether the contents were fabricated or true – can only be counteracted by an open study of annual and decade registries for the various prisons, a comprehensive study of medical files as well as those of the regional civic authorities and prison department records for the registration of both executions and deaths.    But the essential story is to be found in the prisoner’s personal, investigative and operative files.  While the operative files would have already been destroyed in any case, Wallenberg’s personal and criminal files are reported destroyed or missing.  However, the return of his identity papers and valuables in 1989, as well as the repeated claim by the authorities that Wallenberg was never sentenced, would imply access to at least some portion of his file.  Serov, who oversaw much of the destruction of files after the death of Stalin, reportedly destroyed part of Wallenberg’s file – but not all. 

 

Before examining the question of probable cause of death, if in fact death in 1947, we should first consider the possibilities for Wallenberg’s fate as projected from the absence of documentation.  This has proven a useful tool overall, as will be seen in III. DISAPPEARANCE, for placing any information that exists against a proper background.  For, in search of a dead or disappeared man, relating that which is missing to the evidence at hand is a helpful tool in defining the problems that attend the case.  

 

These possibilities are:

 

1)      there never was any such 'legitimate' (witnessed) body of materials pertaining to Wallenberg’s death because he did not die in 1947 or even by the date of the Gromyko Memorandum in 1957.  In this regard then the Smoltsov document may have been contrived to support the illusion put forth by the Gromyko Memorandum that Wallenberg died in July 1947.  The recent disclosure by Alexander Yakovlev, Chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Crimes in the Stalin Era,  that Smoltsov retired as head of Sanitary Services at Lubyanka on March 21, 1947 would support this view.  The objective then would be to establish the illusion of his death in 1947 while using the name  ’Walenberg’, identity unclear, to forestall further discussions.  The door would be left open, however, should Wallenberg’s aliveness prove expedient, as in the case of an exchange.  By this projection, Wallenberg lived not only past 1947 but beyond the period of the Wennerstrom-Wallenberg exchange described by Swedish Police chief Otto Danielsson.  Such negotiations began in 1965 but, according to Susanne Berger, continued  into the early Seventies; 

 

2)      Wallenberg died and the evidence exists in his file which has not been produced because the material it contains contradicts some portion of the claim put forth in the Gromyko Memorandum suggesting that Wallenberg died in 1947 at the hands of Abakumov.  He could have died naturally – from prison attrition – in the early Fifties as certain eyewitnesses have reported.   Or he could have been executed at a later date, most tragically in keeping with the Gromyko Memorandum. In support of this possibility we see that the documents offered by the Russian side in 1991 showed that in 1955/56 a number of scenarios were being prepared and considered to account for Wallenberg’s fate in 1947.  The very fact that they were considering these various versions of the truth rather than the one that eventually emerged with the Smoltsov document could indicate that they knew the truth but were looking for substitutes – unless these were real reports circulating at the time.  Finally, Wallenberg could have died in 1947 but as the result of excessive brutality under interrogation and/or murder, criminal acts which are not the same as an ordered execution.  It is of interest that neither the Soviet nor Russian governments have ever mentioned such a scenario, even though it might explain the lack of witnesses on the Smoltsov document and other irregularities.

 

3)      As the Soviet/Russian authorities have claimed, the file had been destroyed and the authorities preparing the Gromyko Memorandum of 1957 were ignorant of the real circumstances of Wallenberg’s imprisonment – whether as disappearance or death.  Here we return to the example of the Vishinsky Memorandum of 1947, which the Gromyko Memorandum was to overturn.  If Vishinsky was really ignorant of Wallenberg’s presence in the USSR, then his memorandum of May 14, 1947 could only have referred to the ’liquidatsia’ of the problem, not of the man.   To elaborate on this, one must note the fact that in 1954, Gromyko wrote to Serov as head of KGB inquiring ”When and under what circumstances Raoul Wallenberg died.” Serov’s only response was to refer to the reply of Ignatiev of  1952 which was essentially a repetition of the Vishinsky Memorandum of August 1947 denying that Raoul Wallenberg was to be found in the Soviet Union.  From this it would seem that this denial was policy both within government and without.  The circle that knew Raoul Wallenberg’s fate was exceedingly small.  Again, this does not establish that Wallenberg died in 1947.  I have noted in section III. DISAPPEARANCE two instances where numbered prisoners ‘slipped through the cracks’ and were only dealt with because some situation forced the competent authorities to focus in that direction.

 

 

The Soviet claim that the Wallenberg file was destroyed – or is not to be found – is of course central to our problem.  We need this evidence to establish whether or not Wallenberg died or disappeared in 1947 – and if he died at a later date, where, when and under what circumstances.  Given the nature of the file, one should consider the possibility that the issue at stake is not simply that Raoul Wallenberg died while under investigation, i.e in 1947.   Rather it is that he was sentenced and went on to serve one or more terms or a life ’beyond the limit’ as an especially dangerous State criminal.  The Russians – both in the Working Group and Presidential Commission for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression under Stalin – have insisted that Raoul Wallenberg was never convicted, at least under his name.  And yet charges had to exist against him even before his initial capture in Budapest in January 1945 for Deputy Minister of Defense Bulganin to have issued an arrest order at the request of Abakumov. What we are not being allowed to see – either because his file was destroyed or would cause a controversy – are the details of the suspicion and proof, i.e the nature of Wallenberg’s alleged criminal activity.   This would tell us why Wallenberg was arrested and explain the context in which his death – in 1947 or at any later time – was ordered.  It also might reveal circumstances that prevented his return, including a knowledge threatening to certain factions in the West who therefore nixed every opportunity for an exchange. 

 

 

 

Examples of Cases of Other Foreign Prisoners

 

The Wallenberg case has been described as an 'exception.'  We can neither evaluate that claim nor qualify in what form it may accurately be described as an 'exception' if we do not have a firm understanding of the 'norm' where the registration of the deaths of other foreign prisoners are concerned.  How much of that ’status of exception’ centers around the fact that Wallenberg was considered an important prisoner?  How much of this status had to do simply with the fact that he was a foreign prisoner, as opposed to a Russian national?  Until we understand this, death theories will abound – and not only in the case of Raoul Wallenberg.

 

Again we return to the question of the full and proper documentation of the death of a foreign prisoner.  In the appendices of my official report – I included translated excerpts from the files of those prisoners on my list who did die as foreign prisoners in the Soviet Gulag during the period 1945 – 1957.    These include medical histories, autopsies and burial records, plus notes I have made which indicate any irregularities regarding those particular deaths.   These reports from the files must remain classified to guard the rights of privacy of the prisoners and their next of kin so cannot be included here.  The following should be noted however:

 

a)On the cover of a number of these prominent files is the designation: ”To be kept forever.”   This includes files where there is some question about the real cause of death. So the act of destroying the file does not necessarily follow upon a ’strange death.’ Until I am able to study those of others on my list, however, it is difficult to be more precise about what kind of detailing leads to concealment.

 

b)      Among the foreign prisoners who did die in Moscow prisons during the 1945 – 1947 time period whose files I have seen, autopsies were provided by the team of Moscow Medical Forensic specialist Semenovsky and Lt. Colonel of Butyrka Medical Services, Finayev with a third doctor occasionally in attendance as a witness.   This can be seen in the cases of Van der Waals, Okulicki, Marek and Roedl.  The first three all presumably died in Butyrka Prison Hospital. 

 

c)      The fact that a prisoner did not die in the hospital but in his cell or elsewhere is noted in the file and in the akt proclaiming a death. 

 

d)      The prisoner registration cards at Vladimir Prison almost always state with precision the full cause of death.  In the case of Polish Deputy Premier, Jan Stanislaw Jankowski, the card says only ”He died.”  This death was also not recorded in the office of the regional authorities under specific instruction from the Head of Prison.

 

e)Whether before or after sentencing, deaths were reported by the Head of Prison to Deputy Head, 1st Sector, Department A of MGB; with a copy to the head of the Prison Directorate MGB.  In addition reports had to be made to 1st Special Department MVD and to the 2nd Department.   In the case of a prisoner who died while under investigation, the head of prison would notify the investigator in charge of the case.  This has been confirmed by a subsequent study of the regulations.

 

There existed, even in the Stalinist regime a form of checks and balances to limit abuse – all the more visible when dealing with the minutiae of reporting.  In a system where every prisoner must be accounted for, a death does not go un-noticed.  If unreported, this would have to be explained.  A specific document would have to exist ordering those who made inquiry 'not to ask anymore,'  those who must arrange for the disposal of the body not to 'bury in the general grounds as usual',  and in certain cases -- not to report the death to the regional civic authorities, i.e. those outside the MGB or MVD system itself.  

 

 

ACCOUNTING AND ACCOUNTABILITY

 

Before proceeding with our discussion of the Smoltsov document, it is essential to introduce four general considerations against which one must weigh the claims of the Gromyko Memorandum of February 1957:

 

a)         the  thoroughness of Soviet accounting –  the counting, grouping and categorization of prisoners as a way of 'keeping close watch' in a society that was both utilitarian and totalitarian.  In relation to the utilitarian aspect of this issue, (to be developed more fully in my chapter on Investigation and Sentencing), it is becoming increasingly clear that from an investigative and political point of view, death for Raoul Wallenberg in July 1947 would have occurred 'too soon.'   This is both a function of his good health at the time and of the security organs need to amass a great deal of information quickly about the thought processes, personalities and capabilities of those in a number of nations.  As stated above, Wallenberg's calendar alone would show the level of those with whom he had meetings in Budapest.  In addition to this, there are his contacts in Sweden, Germany and the United States to be considered in terms of the political game.

 

Ruling out problems of health (applicable to older prisoners who died during the 1945 – 1947 time period such as Bethlen, Marek, and Roedl but not to Wallenberg born in 1912), one must examine more closely the fact that the intense interrogation processes of related prisoners like Gfrorener, Gerstenberg, Bentivegni, Richter, Hatz were just warming up at that time.   If there exists no real evidence of Wallenberg's death in 1947, it may be because it did not happen then.  The testimonies of certain eyewitnesses would indicate that, after a hiatus of time, Wallenberg did undergo an intense period of interrogation in Moscow prisons 1948-49 and it would appear that he was formally charged during that period as well.  In support of this, we return to General Yevgeni Pitovranov’s comment in an interview with Swedish television in 1992: ”Stalin needed him(Wallenberg).. and would never have killed him.  His death was a mistake.”

 

 

 

In terms of the Soviet's ability to 'keep close watch', what is definitely missing from our joint research which, hopefully the Russian side can provide, are the documents which exist in the 1st Special Department, the 2nd Special Departments MGB and MVD as well as the secret archives of the Secretariet MVD related to Wallenberg.  These agencies, whose function it was to keep track of prisoners, had to have corresponding information regarding the prisoner Wallenberg on some level.  This includes documentation regarding his death, for the MGB/MVD required periodic reports on prisoners under investigation and --if for some reason these were suspended --there had to have been paper work ordering those lower on the chain of command ”not to ask” any more. (It should be noted that these offices were consulted by the ‘competent authorities’ to confirm the testimonies of the primary witnesses handed over by the Swedish government in 1956.  In our recent work, the Russian side has notified us of the discovery in GARF of a cover note for a report of 8 August 1956 by A. Sirotin as Head of the 1st Special Department MVD concerning the return of materials on R. Wallenberg to be kept at the Archive of Special Importance of the Secretariet of the MVD/USSR.  While it has been stated that these materials actually refer to the witness Wallenstein, whose papers were being returned, until we can see the Wallenberg and Wallenstein materials on file in this Archive, this document would contradict  the claims of the Gromyko Memorandum that a thorough search had been performed and nothing had been found.

 

 In terms of evaluating Wallenberg’s ’usefulness’, it is important to ask again for the reports from MGB to MVD to be forwarded to higher instanzas – presumably reports of interrogations passing from Abakumov via Beria to Stalin – for the 1945 – 1947 time period.    That is – if indeed Wallenberg was killed or died of a ’heart attack’ in 1947, this would have come about as the result of especially intensive interrogations and/or ’active measures’ to get him to talk which backfired on his investigators.  From the perspective of ‘usefulness’ – Wallenberg was too valuable a commodity to have sat for years – interrogated only five times – then executed.    

 

Either we are missing a very intensive series of interrogations leading up to the July 17, 1947 alleged death date or the event of his execution occurred much later, not under the competency of men already dead when the Gromyko Memorandum was prepared and issued in 1956-57.

 

b)                  the seriousness – and respect -- attributed to and surrounding the act of death, so that if one were to die, and particularly a foreign prisoner of some prominence, not only is there a strictness of accounting but certain amenities were observed in the documentation of the death.  Never did I find, among the prisoner cases studied, an absence of documentation related to a death.  Normally, death documentation covers at least ten percent of a large file, with the documents related to death placed near the front of the file, after the sentence and – in important or controversial cases – on the front page.  Further medical information would then appear later in the file.  In addition to this, the file would include records of special arrangements made to honor certain dead – burying a Jewish Communist in a Jewish cemetery; placing an important German general in the grave in full dress uniform; including photographs of his loved ones in the grave of a Japanese hero. 

 

In my zeal to substantiate the Soviet claim that Wallenberg died in July 1947 by pressing for documentation of this sort, I soon realized that my questions in and of themselves were disturbing, if not challenging.  I had trespassed both on their respect for the dead ('rest in peace') and the reticence which has shrouded those who may prove accountable ('live in peace').  This ethos which has emerged from the Communist regime effects – on a psychological level – our ability to get to the heart of the matter and resolve this case.  In this regard, I want to thank the Russian side for providing more in-depth information regarding the place and date of Oggins death in 1947;

 

c)         the issue of future accountability both internally  -- i.e. being named as person or group held solely responsible for an illegal act ordered in the present but blameworthy under a future regime;   and externally, in terms of  the smoothness and success of diplomatic relations, then and in the future.  This was important, even before the USSR signed on to the Geneva Convention in 1949.  In this regard, it should be noted that the deaths of Marek, Bethlen, Okulicki, Akikusa, Roedl, Oggins, and Van der Waals – among others – were meticulously documented.  Why should the Soviets do this for Hungary, Austria, Poland, Holland and Japan -- but not for Sweden? 

 

d)         Faith in the propaganda machine.   Until the research of the Swedish-Russian Working Group, the public did not have access to the prisoner files to realize the possible nature and extent of documentation, nor did they have access to those documents produced by the Russian side which point to the fact that the Smoltsov document was not the only scenario being considered for presentation.  Those preparing the Gromyko Memorandum of 1957 could rely on the powerful impact of Gromyko's official statement combined with the sketch put forth in the Smoltsov Document to serve their purposes.  The fact that forty-three years later our investigation is stronger and more demanding than ever reveals the strength of the public’s disbelief of such claims.  

 

 

The Question of Competency

 

The concept that Abakumov could 'hide' Wallenberg – or his 'death in 1947'  -- from his co-workers, starting with the heads of prisons like Mironov of Lubyanka  and Ionov of Lefortovo is a ’myth.’  These men were not without power in their own right.  We can see instances where both Ionov and Mironov protested detention of certain prisoners without interrogation as an illegal act taking place under their physical jurisdiction.  We also know that both Kartashov and Burashnikov ordered moves of prisoners related to Wallenberg's detention in Moscow prisons.  We have established the names of some of Wallenberg's interrogators – Sverchuk, Kopelyansky and Kuzmishin -- even if we don't know who his primary investigator might have been.   As long as Wallenberg was still 'under investigation', these individuals would have had to be informed of the death of a Raoul Wallenberg in Moscow prisons.

 

That Smoltsov – head of Sanitary Services in Lubyanka Prison, a man whose signature appears on slips for increased rations or to determine a prisoner's fitness for labor  -- could oversee the cremation of Wallenberg would over-ride Mironov's responsibility.  If Wallenberg had not yet been sentenced but was still under investigation,  Smoltsov's ordering of a cremation would also have ignored Mironov's responsibility to inform Kartashov as head of the 4th Department, 3rd  Main Directorate or Wallenberg's main investigator.   Since Kartashov was informed by Mironov orally and in writing of the death of Roedl, Wallenberg's long term cellmate, in October 1947 – there is no reason to think that either Mironov or Kartashov could have been left 'out of the loop' where the death of Wallenberg was concerned.   

 

We also should not ignore the fact that Wallenberg's name does not appear in the (Emergency) Registry for Unusual Events in Lubyanka/Internal Prison for the period from July 1 to August 1, 1947 as shown to us by the Russian side.   This does not rule out the possibility that his death  may have happened somewhere else.  For example, Roedl died in transport and therefore his death still fell under the jurisdiction of Internal Prison rather than that of Camp 27, even though he was not in Internal Prison at the time. 

 

For the system to function efficiently, a death must be reported in a number of different directions.  This is the strongest argument that exists toward 'digging deeper' especially when we have seen through the Russian response to our queries that indeed the information exists, if approached correctly.  In the prisoner files where deaths occur, accounting of a death takes up a good percentage of the pages.  Even if the prisoner's death is not registered in the local or regional registry of Civil Acts (CAGS/ZAGS/OAGS), it must be reported to the Prison Department in Moscow and to a number of other persons and divisions in the overall Gulag structure involved in the all important question of 'whereabouts' such as Special Department Numbers 1 and 2, MGB or MVD. 

 

Out of context, the limited death documentation presented to us leaves the reader with little  choice but to go in the direction that Wallenberg died as the result of a conspiracy between Abakumov and Smoltsov while the entire Prison and Investigative systems 'slept' or turned their backs.   This does not conform to the reality of a very active and vigilant administrative structure, where those in high level position remained in power precisely because they knew the importance of generating a paper trail to protect themselves.  (Even the  Smoltsov Document, if genuine, may be just that.)  This brings us to the alternative that there was no actual death at that time, but Abakumov ordered Smoltsov to prepare the note to be inserted in Wallenberg’s file to ‘close it out’ in order to start up a new file under another name or as a numbered prisoner.  This transfer of information from file to file could have occurred without involving the rest of the prison administration.  The only place where it would seem to appear is in the blots in the Lubyanka 1947 possessions registry which show, in analogous cases, possessions being shifted over from a named to a numbered prisoner.  However, some accounting would still have to have been made as to the ‘whereabouts’ or destination of the prisoner who was in the prison until that point.  Where is that information?

 

 

More on Wallenberg’s Lubyanka Registration Card

 

A prisoner whose presence is already known to the authorities – and the Russian side has helped established that this was the case with Raoul Wallenberg --- cannot just 'vanish in thin air.'  There must be a paper trail. What is remarkable is that Langfelder’s card is still ‘missing’, while Wallenberg’s has been produced.  Comparing Wallenberg’s card with that of his cellmate, Willi Roedl – who moved with Wallenberg from Internal Prison Cell 140 in May 1945 to Lefortovo and who would have traveled back to Lubyanka with him in late February 1947 had not Wallenberg been held back a day – it is remarkable that Wallenberg’s card does not show, as Roedl’s, that return in 1947.  Roedl’s card shows his death, gives his archival registration number indicating where his file is to be found – even though it is now ‘missing.’  Wallenberg’s card indicates neither the crossing off (completion) of the Lefortovo portion of his detention (May 1945 – March 1947) nor his death.  I can only conclude from this that either the authorities did not inform the clerks of the kartoteka that Wallenberg was in Lubyanka under his name or they had the card removed from the kartoteka and put in his file so that no further markings on it would be necessary.  

 

To repeat:  Wallenberg’s card only shows his arrival in Lubyanka Prison and his departure for Lefortovo Prison with Roedl in 1945.  It does not show his return on March 1, 1947 to Internal Prison – an event we know took place because it is documented in the file of Horst Kitschman who, with Otto Hatz, replaced Wallenberg and Roedl in Lefortovo Cell 203.  It is established also through the Lefortovo outgoing transport registry and appears again in the alphabetical 1947 Lubyanka possessions registry, as forensically proven from an infra-red examination of the blot.  This raises questions as to the nature and length of Wallenberg’s stay in Internal Prison starting March 1, 1947.  We have been led to believe that he stayed there until his death on July 17, 1947 and yet there is no proof of this other than his March 11, 1947 interrogation and the report of the interrogator Solyvov that he delivered a sealed packet with papers pertaining to Wallenberg to the head of Department A.  Why wasn’t such a straightforward move documented on his registration card?  Was this a matter of being brought to Internal Prison for only a few days interrogation, as we have seen in other files?  Or had Wallenberg already become a numbered prisoner under investigation?

 

One proposed amendment to the draft of a proposed speech to be given by the USSR Ambassador to Sweden to Swedish Foreign Minister Unden in early 1956 would suggest that Wallenberg was predominantly in Lefortovo Prison, not Lubyanka.  ”…examination of the archives of Counter-Intelligence established that Wallenberg was kept in Lefortovo Prison under personal order of Abakumov – under special conditions.  The prison  personnel around (him) did not know his name.  In July 1947 he died in the prison hospital and his body was cremated.”

 

This document, if authentic, would imply that Wallenberg’s death occurred either in the Lefortovo clinic or, if time allowed, at the Butyrka Medical Unit – as has also been suggested in the exchange between Molotov and Serov on this subject.   As discussed above, this would predicate another set of medical signatures on the medical history and death act than that of Smoltsov.  Without judging the Smoltsov document as true or false, one can see from the fact that it was the selected version to accompany the Gromyko Memorandum that the following decisions had been made:

 

1)      not to describe Wallenberg as a numbered or anonymous prisoner, implying severe isolation;

 

2)      not to place him in Lefortovo (for reasons to be established); and

 

3)      not in a prison hospital where one might expect very accurate reporting of medical circumstances. 

 

 

 

Wallenberg’s So-Called Lefortovo File

 

In support of the version that Wallenberg remained predominantly in Lefortovo Prison in 1947, there is a testimony by Sergei Antonovich Stepanov, given to the Swedish Embassy in April 1992.  Stepanov had worked for the KGB and later for both the Interior and Foreign Ministries.  Between 1950 and 1953 he worked in the Archives of the First Main Directorate (Foreign Intelligence), 5th Department.  As mentioned previously, this directorate – presently SVR – has not opened its archive on the Wallenberg case, although it has been reported by a retired archivist that the file of Count Michael Tolstoy-Kutuzow, reportedly an NKVD agent who spied on Wallenberg in Budapest, is kept there.  In 1992, the archive of the First Main Directorate under Primakov was also the source for information related to the irregular deaths of Esau Oggins and Prince Fumitaka Konoye.  (This disclosure followed upon the ARK Project’s discovery of dual national Victor Hamilton in a psychiatric facility outside of Moscow, proving that indeed foreign prisoners were still being kept anonymously or under pseudonyms in prison psychiatric facilities and asylums.)

 

According to Stepanov, he had been requested by his chief, Kukin, to bring Wallenberg’s file from the Archive in October or November of 1950.  The file, Stepanov reports, carried the heading “Swede Wallenberg” which is customary, in that the cover of a foreign prisoenr file often states his nationality and citizenship.  At that time, Stepanov says, Wallenberg had been moved from Vladimir Prison to a small house in East Moscow where an attempt was being made to recruit him at the orders of Beria.  After one or two weeks, Stepanov received the file back “without any new notations…and any new documents having been added.  The last note…the last entry…was a stamp which said “K.M. niet – ‘no compromising materials.”

 

In Stepanov’s embellishment of the story, he added the following details which – while not always accurate -- are of interest in terms of the question of a later death.  The weaknesses in this part of the testimony may stem from the fact that Stepanov was speaking about things he had heard rather than his own direct experience.  I have inserted commentary where appropriate.

 

Wallenberg was arrested in Vienna (actually Budapest) where he made a great effort to save human beings from the Nazis.  After his arrest, he was taken to Lubyanka.  According to official statements (the Gromyko Memorandum), he died as a result of an illness (heart attack) which he contracted or obtained in captivity long before the fall of 1950 (1947), but in reality he was fresh and healthy during that time.  Wallenberg had first been taken to a hospital (Butyrka) and after that he had been taken away…(on the basis of which) it was reported that he was dead.  After that he was taken to Vladimir.

 

Stepanov supports his statements by evoking his colleague Dzjerkvelov, author of the memoir Secret Servant.  Dzjerkvelov had also worked in the archive at that time.  In his memoir, Dzjerkvelov repeatedly makes the point that executions were not performed randomly, but according to laws existing until his defection in the Eighties. He emphasizes that the decision to execute – in the sense of ‘liquidate’ through assassination – was a high level collective one.  According to Stepanov, Dzjerkvelov orally confirmed that this was Wallenberg’s so-called “LEFORTOVO FILE”.   One archivist with whom I have worked for many years in the Russian classified materials commented that Wallenberg and Roedl’s move to Lefortovo in May of 1945, like that of Hatz and Kitschman in February of 1947 (who replaced them in their cell) indicated a ‘certain stage of development’ in the investigative process of a ‘special contingent.’ He would elaborate no further.

 

Further to this, in my work I was introduced in a very few cases to what is known as an ‘arrest file’.  The examples were Van der Waals, Spishek, Meier and Feller – all Budapest arrestees.  These files are smaller in size and of a different color than the files generated after the sentencing of the prisoners.  The arrest file is for those who are not sentenced, as the authorities have claimed in the case of Wallenberg, but either died in captivity at an early phase (Van der Waals/1948), were repatriated/exchanged (Meier and Feller-late 1945 or early 1946), or returned to their homeland to stand trial (Spishek – February 1947).  The normal file contains all the materials related to a prisoner's sentencing.  It would also contain the various transport slips, search and medical slips and interrogations – both those under Smersh or the Third Main Directorate and those under the jurisdiction of the Especially Important Cases Unit or the Second Main Directorate, usually the final stage before actual sentencing.  The normal file also contains records of their transport post-sentencing to whatever special camp or prison selected, documents reflective of their routine in that prison or camp and either their death, repatriation or exile documents.  The ‘arrest file’ is limited to their being picked up and brought to Moscow, the various documents related to their intake and cell placement, any medical matters and their interrogations.  There is usually a document attesting to the fact that they are being sent to Lefortovo as part of a ‘special contingent’ – often with a cellmate but sometimes alone.

 

 

Stepanov makes the point that the file he saw in the archives of the 5th Department of the First Main Directorate in 1950 included the Wallenberg ‘Lefortovo File’ – according to which Wallenberg ‘should have died the 17th of July 1947 – plus other documents about Wallenberg.   In those documents, however, Wallenberg figured under another name.  If this is true, it would appear that Wallenberg was renamed either instead of, or after having been initially numbered.  His arrest file was kept to document his ‘death’ if need be, in the greater file that included all the materials related to his further detention under another name – including their efforts to recruit him.

 

Stepanov also states, in the name of Dzjerkvelov, that the latter saw the file for Wallenberg one other time – in April or May of 1953, immediately after the death of Stalin but before the execution of Beria.  This in fact corresponds to a time period when a number of files of prisoners such as Grossheim-Krisko and Richter, whose arrests were connected to that of an ‘Especially Important Prisoner’ were being reviewed for possible repatriation.  Grossheim-Krisko who, like Wallenberg, had been an employee of the Swedish Legation in Budapest (in his case, definitely of the Foreign Interests Sector) was released rather unexpectedly on the grounds that his presence in the Soviet Union was ‘no longer necessary.’  In his testimony, Stepanov erroneously states that the Wallenberg file being studied in 1953 was at the order of Abakumov.  This cannot be correct for a number of reasons – Abakumov was himself a numbered prisoner in Lubyanka at that time, having been arrested in 1951.  Only a few months later Dzjerkvelov – according to his memoir – was in danger of being purged as he himself was known as a Beria man.

 

 

            A CLOSER EXAMINATION OF THE SMOLTSOV DOCUMENT

 

The doctor’s note accompany the Gromyko Memorandum is ostensibly a handwritten report to the former Minister of State Security of the USSR, Abakumov, from  Chief of the Sanitary Services of Lubyanka Prison:

 

Reporting that the prisoner Walenberg who is known to you died suddenly in his cell, presumably as a result of infartka karda.  Because of your personal instruction to watch Walenberg, I ask your instruction whom should make an autopsy to determine the cause of death.  July 17, 1947. /Signed/ Chief of Sanitorium Service, Smoltsov.  (NOTATION: Reported personally to the Minister.  Got the order to cremate the corpse without autopsy.  July 17. Smoltsov.

 

While acknowledging that the Smoltsov document – if genuine – could refer to the death of Raoul Wallenberg in 1947, there are a number of flaws in this document which must be acknowledged before proceeding further.

 

1)         It is not witnessed.  A legal death report or act by Soviet law requires at least two, and usually three, signatures.  According to one expert, the purpose of  three witnesses was to establish that the person’s death was not the result of a violent act.  In that case, assuming the Smoltsov document to be valid, one must consider the possibility that Wallenberg’s death was neither the result of a heart attack nor of a planned execution but of a ’trauma’ caused by an attack on his bodily person.  (See The Question of a Young Man’s Death, following.)

 

2)         The cause of death is 'presumed, not conclusive' which is unprecedented among the files I have studied. As cause of death is a fundamental requirement of all reports on a death, uncertainty regarding the true cause should have made an autopsy – routine for a heart attack – an absolute necessity. (See below).  (61) The doctor or expert must have the medical history if the prisoner dies of a disease or act of discovery if he is murdered or committed suicide, but no other information....

 

3)         There is no medical act to our knowledge and no autopsy was performed.  According to the regulations: (60)an autopsy is made only by order from the investigating or supervising body, when head of prison or Prison Department has doubts about the causes of death stated in the medical act...The Medical Act is to be signed by Deputy Head of Prison and doctor, approved by head of prison after he examines the body in person, sees his personal file and checks the circumstances;  (61)....The autopsy act is to be signed by the doctor and approved by the head of the prison.  (65) Copies of the medical examination or autopsy act for the body of prisoner who was under investigation by the NKVD go to the investigating body, to the Prison Department and to the personal file.

 

4)         The Smoltsov document not only mis-spells the prisoner's family name as 'Walenberg' when the proper spelling of the name occurred on surrounding documents at that time, but he gives no first name or patronymic as required by the Soviet system – for all intents and purposes leaving the identity of the prisoner open to being a mistake.  This is, of course, useful for later reversal of a claim that Raoul Wallenberg died in 1947 as proven by this particular document.

 

5)         The document does not state the year of birth, a fact also required by the Soviet system to help identify one prisoner of same name from another.  At the arrival of a prisoner in every prison, or after a search, or on medical slips, the prisoner himself must sign his name – family, first and patronymic, year of birth and give his signature.  As the Swedish Final Report makes mention of one other prisoner with a similar name, Rudi Wallenberg, one cannot assume that Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat, was the only one to have such a surname in the Gulag records of the time.

 

6)         The document does not denote the time (hour and minute) of death, thereby skipping over one of the most fundamental pieces of information in reporting a death.  If the document is genuine, this could indicate that Smoltsov did not know – i.e. was not actually present.   In that case, it could not have served as the act or report notifying Abakumov of Wallenberg's death but only as a routine sharing of information for which one might expect similar slips to other officials – that is, Smoltsov could have been reporting on the basis of something he heard, since no attachment of any act is mentioned on the document. 

 

7)         The document does not state the citizenship and/or nationality of the deceased as required by Soviet reporting regulations.  In the case of  foreign prisoners, the information is to include the name, birthdate, citizenship, arresting body, date of arrest, convicting body and sentence date, term of punishment, date and cause of death.

 

8)         The document implies that Smoltsov had the power to dispose of the body.  (69) Bodies of prisoners charged under Article 58 and those of internal  and central prisons cannot be given to their families;  (70) The body will be buried on order from head of prison, which fact will be recorded in the copy of the medical examination or autopsy act that goes into the file.

 

9)         The document implies that the body could be disposed of without reporting to the proper authorities: (62) The Prison Administration is to report the death to the investigating or court body under whose jurisdiction the prisoner is, the  Department for Acts of Civil Status (DACS) on the territory where he lived before the arrest on the  Form given here (Supplement Number 2) or, when the address is unknown, the DACS of the republic or region to which the prison belongs.

 

 

Page 59 or 159

 

There appears to be a page number of the upper right hand corner of the document, either ’59’ or ‘159’ merged with the words ’Top Secret.’  This suggests that the Smoltsov document was part of a file, presumably – if we were to follow the standard pattern of prisoner files – either Wallenberg’s personal or investigative file.  Such files were stitched unless a specific order was given ’not to stitch’, meaning the authorities expected to have to add, remove or re-arrange documents in the future. Pages were numbered in pencil but could be re-numbered in different colors as they were re-arranged, combined with other files or cut down.  Certain files had three different pagination systems on some pages. 

 

If not a contrived ‘special effect’ on an inauthentic document, this page could have been taken from Raoul Wallenberg’s personal or investigative files. Alternatively this could have been taken from Smoltsov’s correspondence file either to Abakumov personally or to his deputies of the  Especially Grave Matters Investigative Unit.  This group relied upon Smoltsov to prescribe increased rations or evaluate their prisoners for labor fitness.  Less likely, given the gravity of the matter at hand, is the possibility that this came from the correspondence files of the Sanitary Services unit within Internal Prison.  (Yakovlev’s disclosure since this writing that Smoltsov was not even working in Lubyanka during that time period makes this even more suspect).

 

A serious attempt should be made to determine from which file this document was found – including the fact that there existed another prisoner by the name of ‘Walenberg.’  A more controversial option is that Page 59/159 is a forgery based on a document, the original of which  refers to another prisoner, but where the name ‘Walenberg’ has been substituted for the original, shorter name – without including the first name and patronymic because it is too long.  Here too the page number acts as a ’special effect’ to support the illusion that this was an authentic document.

 

 

”Because of Your Instruction Personally to Watch Walenberg”

 

The implications of this statement in the Smoltsov document lends strength to the claim projected by the overall effect that there existed special circumstances which would explain the unusualness of Smolstov being the attendant physician as opposed to the Head of Medical Services of Internal Prison, or Doctors Colonel Larin and Lt. Colonel Finayev of the Butyrka Medical Services who usually cared for the prisoners who were sick from all three Moscow prisons.

 

There is, however, an intermediate set of documents missing from here which would make this claim more logical – namely no evidence has been produced as yet to prove that Wallenberg had been shifted from the jurisdiction of the 4th Department of the 3rd Main Directorate to the Investigative Unit of the Especially Grave Matters/Especially Important Cases Division under Leonov.  Colonel Vinogradov has stated that Wallenberg remained under the jurisdiction of the 4th Department until his death.  Smoltsov’s signture – in the files I have studied – appears only in relation to those under the jurisdiction of the the Especially Important Cases unit.

 

In view of this, I renew my request that the Russian side review its interrogation and other registries for proof that Wallenberg was shifted to the Especially Grave Matters Unit.  All numbered prisoners under investigation held under their jurisdiction after the March 11, 1947 interrogation with Kuzmishin should be considered to determine if any of them could be Raoul Wallenberg – particularly Prisoner Number 7  under investigation.  This is based on the assumption that, if Abakumov indeed had ultimate ’watch’ over Wallenberg, it would have been either through the 4th Department of the 3rd Main Directorate or the Especially Grave Matters Unit.

 

The Question of ’Watch’

 

Normally this expression is used to imply ’care’ or to ’prevent escape.’  If a prisoner is under a guard or a doctor or a warden’s ’watch’ or the ’watch of the MGB organs’ in an internat, he is their direct responsibility.  Should anything happen to him, the one in charge of the watch would be accountable.  Along these lines we can see, for example, the guard’s watch when Polish General Leopold Okulicki went on a hunger strike in Lefortovo Prison in 1946.  The guard reported at frequent intervals whether Okulick was in a reclining position, whether he slept or not, his smoking habits and so on.  The implication was that if things got worse – should an emergency occur – it would be reported immediately in order to keep him alive and the situation under control.  Indeed, a special surgeon from the Medical Services MGB was called in to perform surgery in an attempt to save the Polish leader’s life during his final hunger strike.  This operation was performed in Butyrka Prison Hospital, however – not on site.

 

The Emergency Registry for Unusual Events at Lubyanka Prison for the July 1 – August 1, 1947 time period , provided by the Russian side of the Working Group, does not make reference to the death of Raoul Wallenberg or any other prisoner.  It does make reference to the attempted suicide of a female prisoner.  I have asked to see this registry for the date of October 14/15, 1947 when Wallenberg’s cell mate Willi Roedl died on his way to Krasnogorsk, but still under the jurisdiction of Internal Prison.  This would confirm that we are studying the right journals to determine who died during that year under the ’watch’ of the head of Lubyanka Prison. 

 

In my study, the term ‘watch’ appeared in yet another context.  Prominent foreign prisoners suffering from psychiatric problems or being sent into exile rather than being repatriated at the end of term were to be held in special facilities under the watch of the MGB organs.  While this will be a subject for a later report, it has been acknowledged that the MGB, later KGB, had and has a number of ‘safe houses’ where a prisoner of Wallenberg’s calibre could be concealed.  In this regard, there exist a number of valuable testimonies which have been ignored until now reporting Wallenberg’s presence in a ‘villa’, ‘small house, or closed ward of an MVD medical facilities on the outskirts of Moscow, or ‘pension’ or ‘special site’ for Poles and Balts who were never released.

 

 

”Presumably by Myocardial Infarct” – The Question of a Young Man’s Death

 

At the request of Dr. Marvin W. Makinen, Dr. Harry A. Fozzard, a highly respected cardiologist at the University of Chicago, gave his assessment of myocardial infarct as the presumed cause of the death of Raoul Wallenberg, born 1912 – at the age of 35.  In terms of Smoltsov’s statement ’presumably by myocardial infarct,’ Dr. Fozzard points out that myocardial infarct could not be determined on the basis of an external examination, only through autopsy

 

correlating a coronary occlusion with an infarcted area of heart muscle.  The muscle changes are only present typically 24 hours after the onset.  If the patient dies before 24 hours, even the post-mortem diagnosis was unreliable….In summary, a physician could suspect the diagnosis (only)  if he were to be with the patient during the acute chest pain…

 

Short of having been with Wallenberg in his cell for a long period of time, Smoltsov should have had access to some medical documentation of previous complaints of angina or chest pain, in making his assessment as to the ’cause of death.’  Again, we must call for the missing medical records.

 

While concluding that myocardial infarct is extremely unlikely in a young man of 35, based on the evidence as it exists to date Dr. Fozzard raised the question of trauma. 

 

For example, soft tissue trauma or bone fractures have a close association with pulmonary emboli, which can result in sudden death especially if the individual is restrained or dehydrated.  Head trauma resulting in intracranial bleeding can lead to cardin arrhythmia and sudden death.

 

This raises the question: if Wallenberg died in 1947 – was it really the result of a planned execution or rather from a trauma induced by heavy beating or a blow to the head?  In reference to this, on July 17, 1947 – Wallenberg’s alleged death date – Abakumov not only communicated with Molotov about the Swede.  He also reported to Stalin regarding the practices of arresting, handling and maintaining a prisoner under investigation. The original of this document, which exists as a copy among the papers of General Dmitri Volkogornov in the Library of Congress, has yet to be found in the Presidential or other archives so its veracity is in question. However, one of the more controversial aspects of this document – which Colonel Vinogradov describes as a ’compendium of instructions’ – is the reference to torture in order to extract essential information from a prisoner under investigation.  According to Colonel Vinogradov such practices were explicitly forbidden.

 

Dr. Fozzard also makes the point that the chances of a young man of 35 – who has no history of heart disease in his immediate family – would have been one in a million.  Acorrding to Friedberg’s text, only 5% of myocardial infarcts occurred before the age of 45.  Stress, dehydration and recent surgery can promote a hypercoagulable state that would increase the likelihood of myocardil infarction, but only in individuals with severe pre-existing arterioschlerosis.

 

Here too another analogy comes into question – the case of Prince Fumitake Konoye who, like Oggins, was reportedly executed to prevent his repatriation.  Konoye’s death took place in October 1956, only a few months before the Gromyko Memorandum was issued.  He was 41 at the time, only three years younger than Wallenberg.  His death records state the cause of death as ’hypertensive disease and generalized arterio-schlerosis resulting in a large area of broken blood vessels in the fourth ventricle of the brain….Nephroschlerosis with hemmoragic nephritis and pyelitis contributed to the death.  There has been some question as to whether this is a false medical history.  Konoye died when the question of his repatriation to Japan had become a pressing issue.  While there had previously been definite indications that he was to be repatriated – rights of correspondence and the fact that he was to be transferred to a repatriation camp in Harbin – Konoye was recalled from the East.  In his last communication he wrote to his wife that while he’d had high hopes of seeing her again, he sensed that a negative decision had been made in his case.

 

If Wallenberg survived in 1947, the 1955-56 period appears the more ’dangerous’ for Wallenberg – logically speaking.  By then, all investigative purposes would have been served, the question of his recruitability firmly determined.  This is all the more critical because, by then, his presence in the Soviet Union could no longer be denied thanks to the testimony of the repatriated eyewitnesses.  A report of the nature of the Gromyko Memorandum was necessary to countermand the obviously false claims of the Vishinsky Memorandum of 1947.   (It is also possible, as I have noted in my report on Strict Isolation and the Numbering of Prisoners, that other internal pressures existed to make a decision regarding Wallenberg’s future at that time – namely that in early 1957, Wallenberg’s possible ten year term for Counter-Revolutionary activities dating from 1947 was about to come to an end.  This would have made the decision whether to repatriate or exile him all the more necessary.  Execution was the third, most extreme alternative at that time.

 

 

                        EXECUTION BY SHOOTING

 

With the exception of Franz Rudolph Gfrorener, executed by shooting in April 1952, most of those sentenced to capital punishment had their sentences commuted to fifteen years of  ITL or hard labor. For this reason it was recommended by experts that I actually see Gfrorener’s execution act which was not in his personal file – only the sentence itself, without proof that it had been carried out.  In the end I was shown this proof of his execution – which includes a list of others who were executed at that time – as well as documents related to the disposal of the body.   This is another instance of Russian cooperation which has proven helpful to properly understanding the steps leading up to an execution.  The problem remains however that – if Gfrorener’s file is a true example-- the proof of such a death would be found only in Wallenberg’s investigative file (reportedly missing) or in other classified records where executions are listed including time and place of execution, the names of those placed before the firing squad, disposal of bodies and so on.  

 

Where the death date of July 1947 is concerned, however, we have another discrepancy.  While a number of retired Soviet KGB officials have reported that Wallenberg was killed in July 1947 by shooting, rasstriel was cancelled in May of 1947 and did not resume until 1950.  Even after it was reinstated, it was mentioned in passing to the prisoners more as a threat, to emphasize the gravity of their ‘war crimes.’  That is, even though rasstriel had been re-instated, the sentence would read in effect: ”Were it not for the fact that rasstriel has been canceled, you would have been executed.”  A twenty-five year sentence for espionage was considered the next most severe punishment.  Prisoners from Perm and other maximum security prisons released in the late Eighties and early Nineties have made reference to aging, nameless ‘Nazi war criminals’ still being held in isolator prisons to the East.

 

In short, among the important or controversial cases I have studied – Gfrorener is the only one to have actually been shot.  Why?  Is it because he refused to be recruited?  Or did the fact that he had already been proven a triple agent make him too unreliable in the eyes of the Soviets? The reason Gfrorener’s fate is particularly important to our research is Gfrorener’s role as the head of Abwehrstelle Budapest in Jewish rescue and his cooperative relationship with the Joint, pre-dating Wallenberg’s mission.  In fact, Gfrorener’s arrest by the Gestapo in May of 1944 and his detention in Vienna until the end of the War meant – from an Allied/Joint perspective -- that someone was desperately needed in Budapest to carry on his protective functions. Wallenberg interrogator Kopelyansky has inferred that there exists an important parallel between the case of Gfrorener and that of the Swedish diplomat.  The question must be explored whether the accusations against Wallenberg as a Nazi collaborator relate solely to his trade dealings with the Nazis in order to save lives, or if he took on some of the information-gathering oversight which had been Gfrorener’s function for the Abwehr as for the Allies.

 

While the authorities of Domskoi Crematory wrote a document in 1991 stating that there is no evidence of Raoul Wallenberg being buried or cremated there, the experts on the Russian side have informed me that those executed were disposed of without recording their names at Domskoi.  One would expect, however, a list within the Prison Administration itself to coincide with a list of executions because – as was pointed out to me by the Russians themselves – unless one sees a full sequence of documents to the end, there is no guarantee of what happened.   Again, it is up to the Russian side to substantiate their claim.

 

Nobel Laureate Andrej Sakharov, in the English edition of his Memoirs, has provided further information regarding the documentation of rasstriel which he learned from a KGB officer who dealt with such files in the Thirties and Forties: NKVD and KGB investigative files are stamped ‘To be preserved forever.’  In rare instances specific pages may be removed on instructions from the top leadership, but a file is never completely destroyed…In every case, the first page of a file was retained.  If a person had been executed, an affidavit that the death sentence had been carried out was included, with a record of the serial number of the pistol used.

 

 

 

EXECUTIONS MADE TO APPEAR DEATH BY DISEASE

 

The lengths to which the authorities could go to account for a death, even if death was induced, may best be seen in the case of the American citizen, Esau Oggins.  In Memorandum 2733A of May, 1947 Abakumov had recommended to Stalin that Oggins --whose term had expired and therefore a decision was necessary regarding his fate -- be 'executed'.  This was necessary to prevent Oggins from returning to the United States where, as a Communist, his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee would turn world opinion and that of 'fellow travelers' against the USSR.  To facilitate this, however, it would be necessary to provide a false medical history and autopsy as to the 'cause of death.'  Abakumov recommended that Oggins be executed, the date of his actual death be altered to occur just prior to the end of his term (presumably so there would be no question of illegalities in the form of prolonged detention), and that his death be attributed to 'aggravated tuberculosis of the spine.'

 

In relation to Oggins, Abakumov writes: "In the archives of the Noril'sk camp, we will reflect the course of Oggins' illness, medical and other help given him.  Oggins' death will be registered officially as a result of illness by an autopsy document and a burial certificate." Abakumov's memorandum to Stalin, censored in part, as well as Oggins’ death certificate have been given over to us through the U.S. /Russia POW/MIA Task Force.  We still have no copy of the false medical history or autopsy to see how and to what degree Abakumov's recommendation was acted upon or modified by Stalin and other leaders involved in the final resolution of Oggins’  fate.

 

The Oggins case has been presented to the Wallenberg investigators as analogous to that of Raoul Wallenberg who allegedly died during the same time period.  Here two there are a number of comparative details that should be noted:

 

1)Abakumov’s response regarding Wallenberg, Memorandum 3044A – contents unknown -- was addressed to Molotov of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  His recommendation for the execution of Oggins was addressed directly to Stalin.  Susanne Berger has pointed out that, by the year 1952, this Memorandum regarding Wallenberg was already missing from the Council of Ministers/Foreign Ministry files.  This, like the blots in the registries discussed in the DISAPPEARANCE section to follow, could have been part of a systematic effort to remove traces of his presence among the regular archives.  

 

2) In May of 1947, when Abakumov wrote this recommendation to Stalin to execute Oggins and fake his medical history and autopsy, rasstriel – death by shooting – had just been or was about to be canceled in a matter of days.  Abakumov's recommendation was not to be acted upon over night.   Assuming the order to cancel rasstriel to have been strictly observed, 'execution'  of Oggins would have been through injection, liquidation by poisoning, or other forms of biochemical manipulation.  In this regard, the text of the Smoltsov document could describe a doctor's watch after having given an injection to make certain that it fulfilled its intended purpose.  The statement that the prisoner 'Walenberg' died 'presumably as a result of infarcta carta' could be read as a recommendation for the language to use in stating 'cause of death' on the actual death certificate.  We are however still haunted by the question why, having gone this far, they did not document the matter entirely in 1947, particularly given the precedent of Oggins whose actual death occurred in July -- only a few days before Wallenberg’s alleged death date. 

 

3)   While the Russian side has not stated how exactly Oggins was killed, they have not only disclosed the information that he was 'executed' but, in answer to my letters of November 3, 1999 and January 10, 2000 – that he died on July 5, 1947 in Penza where he was buried in the Jewish cemetery.  Oggins was not in Lubyanka Prison in Moscow at the time of his execution.  The close timing of Vishinsky's memorandum to Molotov, calling for the 'liquidatsia' of the problem of Wallenberg's detention and Abakumov's letter to Stalin recommending that Oggins be executed (May,1947) back to back with the fact that Oggins died on July 5, 1947 and Wallenberg allegedly on July 17, 1947 is a compelling argument.  I have considered the possibility that for the sake of secrecy both died in the same manner in the same place.  Results of  independent field work related to this question are not yet forthcoming.

 

 

WHY THE LACK OF SUBSTANTIATION: 1957 AND BEYOND

 

Why A Fake Medical History Could Not be Contrived in 1957

 

In 1956, when the Gromyko Memorandum was being prepared, the Smoltsov document was either genuinely uncovered or contrived.  As I have repeatedly emphasized in this chapter and elsewhere, if an authentic document, there should be more to give us the complete picture of Wallenberg's medical history, murder or suicide.  If inauthentic, why stop with this one piece of paper that has no legal validity as a death certificate?   Why not fake the entire body of documents and silence the whole matter, as Abakumov suggested in the case of Oggins in 1947?

 

There are two possible answers to this.  One is that the goal was not to declare Wallenberg dead but to create a document sufficiently ambiguous that its implications could be easily reversed at a later time.  All the flaws in the Smoltsov Document work toward this end, one which presumably would be employed if the Government of Sweden agreed to enter into an exchange.  As we know that the Soviets had at least one spy in place in Sweden in 1957 – Stig Wennerstrom – the inconclusiveness of the Gromyko Memorandum leaves the door open to an exchange while correcting the impression that Wallenberg was not to be found in the Soviet Union.

 

We should add to this that, if Stepanov’s testimony is correct, initially this document may have been generated by Smoltsov at the request of Abakumov to be placed in Wallenberg’s ‘Lefortovo file’ for deception purposes – establishing his “death” even as his identity was being changed.  Afterwards, at the time the Gromyko Memorandum was being shaped, it may have been decided that it was a useful tool to convince the outside world as well.  The misspelling of Wallenberg’s name is, of course, suspect.

 

The second possibility is that the policy makers of the times might have considered providing a full, but contrived, body of evidence to establish that Wallenberg was dead – but they could not because of the mechanics of their own legal and accounting system.  In short, by 1956/1957, the 'books were closed' on a death in 1947.  It would be too late to introduce the ‘proper’ documentation into all the registries and files of all the appropriate offices. 

 

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directive to Soviet Ambassador to Hungary, Uri V. Andropov of September 17, 1957, the Sovets claimed that Langfelder died on March 2, 1948.  This directive also states: Unfortunately we couldn’t discover any reason to think that all materials regarding Langfelder as well as all materials about Wallenberg were not destroyed by the former leadership of State Security in the USSR.  But the list of the prisoners in Lubyanka was found and there is the name of Langfelder with a remark: ’Died on March 2, 1948.’

 

Our request to see this list, made in my first Preliminary Report of  November 1998, should be continually repeated.  In fact, we should ask for the right to see these ’prisoner lists’ for the period 1945-48 to see if, on a regular basis, these notations were made of the death of prisoners – as for example in the cases of Marek, Bethlen, Van der Waals, Okulicki and Roedl.  Does Langfelder’s name really appear as stated?  Did this list apply only to prisoners who died in Lubyanka?  Are there comparable lists for other prisons?  Does the name Wallenberg appear on this list of prisoners in Lubyanka – as it should since we know he was there through the 1947 Lubyanka Possessions Registry?  What notation is next to his name, if any?  Was his name blotted out?

 

We should also point out the fact that Vilmos Langfelder’s Lubyanka prison registration card is missing.  How is it possible that Langfelder’s name appears on the list of prisoners for Lubyanka prison with the notation that he died on March 2, 1948 – while his card has disappeared from the kartoteka?  In a system as meticulous as this, there should be correspondence between the two notations.  Langfelder’s card should note his date of death and also give the archival number for his records, at least as known in 1948. Wallenberg’s registration card, on the other hand, does not state that Wallenberg died on July 17, 1947 or at any time.  These contradictions are compelling and should be analysed to a greater depth.

 

Finally we should repeat our request to study the annual listing of prisoners who died throughout the Moscow prison complex during the period 1945 – 1948, to acquaint ourselves more fully with the system and to see if there is any indication whatever of the death of Raoul Wallenberg, even as a nameless or numbered prisoner.  If we are to take the fact that Wallenberg’s currency was returned to his next of kin in October 1989 – when the regulation is that it is to be given over within six months of death or confiscated by the State – then we should also be studying these records during this time period also.  This is a goal of my follow-up work. 

 

 

The Decade Listing

 

Of more importance, in terms of accounting and ’protecting the books,’ we now know from prison administration regulations that there also existed a ’decade listing.’  To introduce Raoul Wallenberg as dead in 1947 after the fact – i.e. when the books for the Forties have been long closed by 1957 and especially if the decade registry is in chronological and/or alphabetical order – could not be done without alerting a number of different competent authorities.  This may explain why we are left with the Smoltsov document – a handwritten note to file that can claim no legal value and therefore does not constitute an illegal act.

 

                        CONCLUSIONS REGARDING AN EARLY DEATH

 

1.         My first conclusion is best expressed by Lucien Goaze, an officer of the French Deuxieme Bureau stationed in Budapest both during and after the War and a prisoner at Vladimir, in his analysis of the Gromyko Memorandum to Wallenberg’s mother, Maj von Dardel.

 

Finally it seems impossible to me that the Soviet Government could justify lack of precision (in Wallenberg's case) from an objective point of view as well as the lack of proper care leading to death – simply by reference to the great number of prisoners kept in the camps and by the cruelty of an Abakumov.  Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat, was too important a character in and of himself, and also in their game – I mean the Soviets' intentions and calculations – for him not to have been monitored very precisely in his movements in the USSR and in the evolution of his health.

 

While this will be developed more fully later with the completion of my study on Investigation and the Sentencing of Prisoners, I agree with Goaze’s assessment of the Soviet prison system.  In terms of ‘the evolution of his health,’ in the files studied I discerned two phases for prisoners:

 

(1)    those under investigation where a clear effort was made to sustain figures of importance so that they can survive their strenuous interrogations; and

 

(2)    those already sentenced who survived their terms but – one might argue – were still considered a threat to or enemy of the State.   A number of these important prisoners seemed to have died just prior to their time of release.   With their aging, this was of course more problematic to assess.  But Wallenberg was young at the point of his arrest and, as noted by Dr. Frozzard’s analysis of the Smoltsov document, for him to die of a heart attack would have most likely resulted from a sharp blow to the head during interrogation.  This may have been what General Pitovranov meant when he said that Wallenberg’s death was a ’mistake.’ 

 

 

2.         There are a number of death dates which should be considered in determining the fate of Raoul Wallenberg, not just one.  The significance of the 1947 death date is primarily supported by the fact that Soviet officials have given it credence – first through the Gromyko Memorandum and then through subsequent oral reports, especially in the past decade, which would indicate Wallenberg died in 1947 but as a result of execution rather than natural causes.  Apart from the Gromyko Memorandum/Smoltsov presentation and these oral testimonies, there is no documentation to support Wallenberg’s death at that time – which is odd considering that a number of other important cases of foreign prisoners’ deaths are well documented, even though the cause of death may have been a fabricated one.

 

The second ’danger’ period of 1952-53 is drawn from a number of eyewitness reports which state either that Wallenberg was very sick during that time and in the hospital (in various parts of the country) or that he was very sick and died at that time.  These reports have to be studied with more care and in conjunction with the Medical investigation.  Therefore they will be dealt with in a later chapter.  The most analogous deaths at that time, however, were those of  Jan Stanislaw Jankowski and Prisoner Number Eleven whose causes of death were not stated on their prisoner registration cards at Vladimir Prison, nor were they reported to the regional authorities at the order of the head of Prison.  These two prisoners were buried together in the same grave.

 

The third ’danger point’ is that of the 1955-56 period when a new response to Swedish inquiries as to the fate of Wallenberg were being prepared, reversing the Vishinsky Memorandum of 1947.   While these are not as readily documented, it has been claimed by Soviet experts and ex-KGB officials that the Khrushchev period was marked by as many atrocities as that of Stalin.   Wallenberg’s case is closely analogous to that of Prince Fumitaka Konoye, more so than to that of Oggins because at the time Oggins died – Wallenberg’s presence in Soviet prisons was not sufficiently proven. This was only established through the testimonies of the repatriated primary witnesses returning from 1953 and following.  Had Wallenberg survived until this time, the question of whether to repatriate or execute him would have been much more urgent than in 1947.  Further study of the Konoye case in the Archives of Foreign Policy would be useful in analyzing this analogy more precisely.

 

The fourth possible date of death which has been completely overlooked, but for which there is evidence, is that which relates to the return of Wallenberg’s possessions (money and valuables) to his next of kin in 1989.   This death scenario most appropriately conforms to the standard prison regulations for the disposal of belongings and valuables following a prisoner’s death.   In any case, as I have noted, for these valuables and money to still be available in 1989 when his real death should have occurred in 1947 is completely in opposition to standard practice of confiscation within a set period of time after the date of death, or in instances where the real ownership of such valuables could not be established.   If Wallenberg died in 1947, 1952/53, or in 1956 these monies should have been confiscated by the State decades before.  As the valuables and currency follow a prisoner after his sentencing from prison to camp, hospital to asylum to be used in his credit/debit account; the availability of these objects in 1989 under normal conditions would establish that Wallenberg lived until that time.  The Russian side must explain – if they can – this ’exception.’

 

3.                  The reason for the absence of documentation is, in and of itself, grounds for projecting what really happened in the policy makers attempts to shape a view, while skirting contradictions in the details given or avoiding unwanted accountability.

 

4.                  At the same time, the Russians repeated statement that Raoul Wallenberg was never sentenced combined with the return of Wallenberg’s identity papers and other personal documents, including his valuables and currencies, would indicate that some portion of his file still existed in 1989.

 

5.                  The existence of not only annual death registrations but decade listings should either verify Wallenberg’s death in 1947 or explain why a full set of legal documents related to his death could not be introduced ten years after the fact.

 

6.                  Separate from this, I have noted the different offices within the Prison Administration which, at one point or another, would have to be informed of the death of a known prisoner – which Wallenberg was.  Their records have never been made available to us.   This is part of the Soviet failure to substantiate their own claim and should be rectified.

 

7.                  While the Russians showed courage in producing Abakumov’s recommendation to execute Oggins and alter his medical records, this inevitably opens a ‘can of worms’.  One can no longer look at the medical records and autopsies of a death – especially if it involves a reasonably young man – and be sure that they describe the real circumstances of the death. This is further compounded by our awareness that the preparation of the ‘falsified circumstances’ was a high level committee decision.  This may be seen even in the analogy of Oggins. The form of falsified death which Abakumov recommended to Stalin does not completely correspond to the formula which appeared on his death certificate, showing that it was changed while under consideration.

 

 

A number of different voices participated in the preparation of this fairly '‘exceptional’ action involving a foreign prisoner.  Until we can study Oggins’ file, we cannot know, step by step, the procedures that brought this unusual solution into force and compare it with the evidence we have in the Wallenberg case.  We do not know, for example, Molotov or Vishinsky’s involvement in the planning process – if any.  Until we have articulated this process, we cannot make use of the information to determine if Raoul Wallenberg may have also died in this manner in 1947 or beyond.   

 

As for death by shooting, the Russians would have to provide us with analogous cases of foreign prisoners shot in July 1947 or thereabouts.  Here too we must examine the procedures to determine competency and accountability, then check relevant files to determine if there are indications of another death under their jurisdiction which could be that of Raoul Wallenberg’s.  Until this is done, it should be understood by the public at large that both stories of execution – by lethal injection or by rasstriel in 1947 -- are without foundation. 

 

On the other hand, I have already identified for the Swedish and Russian governments the only numbered prisoner numbers which could correspond to Raoul Wallenberg, Vilmos Langfelder and Sandor Katona during the 1947-early 1948 time period as models for the DISAPPEARED.  Until the anonymous persons carrying those numbers are properly identified, both those sentenced and those under investigation, the option that this could have been Wallenberg’s fate at that time is quite probable.  

 

 

DISAPPEARANCE

 

 

One of the most powerful tools that existed in the Soviet system to isolate prisoners 'under investigation'  and to limit awareness of their identity even after sentencing was  that of  'numbering' .  Thus the name, and other pertinent data about a prisoner, could be concealed not only from fellow prisoners but from everyone who guarded him or her -- except for those on the highest level.  While this system existed even in Czarist times, it proved particularly useful to the Soviet prison authorities in the handling of nationalist leaders and others arrested during World War II.  In keeping with MGB/MVD organizational changes which took place in the Spring of 1947 regarding the categorization of prisoners and their placement, the system governing the 'contingent' of numbered prisoners would seem to have become even more centralized as well.

 

Thus, on April 19, 1947 Central in Moscow sent the Directorate MGB for Ivanovo Region regulations for keeping the newly arrived contingent of Baltic numbered prisoners:

 

General Rules: Head of Internal Prison, his deputies on duty and guards are responsible for: a) keeping secret the very fact that numbered prisoners are kept in the Internal Prison; b) keeping secret their names, last names, background, etc.; c) prevention of their attempts to escape, contacts with the outside world and with each other; and d) making sure that the numbered prisoners obey the regulations for their regime.  None of the personnel is to know about the numbered prisoners, except the head of the Internal Prison.  The guards are not allowed to speak to numbered prisoners, by any means.  No conversations about them are allowed in the presence of the guards, personnel or workers of the MGB Directorate.  When necessary, in official conversation, the guards are to use the prisoners'  numbers or the numbers of their cells.  Only the following guards are to guard the numbered prisoners….

 

We may presume that similar instructions went to the heads of MGB Directorates in other regions which housed isolateur or maximum security prisons, particularly the nearby Vladimir Oblast where political prisoners and prominent figures were often kept in Prison Number 2.  This doesn't exclude the possibility that other numbered prisoners were also kept under 'special conditions' in more minor or less known prisons – or special sites -- throughout the former USSR.   This is particularly pertinent to Wallenberg who was described by one former Soviet official as well as one informant/Vladimir prisoner as having been kept, particularly after psychiatric difficulties set in, in a villa with two or three other prisoners.

 

Through the files of the numbered prisoners we have been allowed to see, we now know that their personal files --rather than traveling with the prisoner from place to place as is the norm -- would be opened and maintained only by the warden or deputy head of the facility where the prisoner was held at that time.  The complete personal file – including identifying documents, orders and decisions, his investigative processing, or details of his stay in other special prisons or camps -- was kept in the Prison Department in Moscow, so that the very few knew not only the identity of the prisoner but the pattern of his movements. In some cases the prisoners were informed of their numbers – in others they were not.

 

Registration cards, corpus and cell cards – rather than being included in the various prison kartotekas -- were all returned to the head of the Prison Department/Directorate of 'Central.'  All information regarding these prisoners was passed in ‘sealed packets'.  As noted in Ambassador Magnusson’s Final Report, sometime in 1947 the interpreter Solovyov was asked to carry a such a packet from Section Chief Kuleshov (under Kartashov) to the Archive Chief MGB Gertsovsky:

 

On the package was written ‘Package with materials concerned the arrested Number 7, can only be opened with permission of MGB leadership.”  Package included certain pages and personal documents (although not the personal file) which concerned Raoul Wallenberg.

 

The Russian authorities have acknowledged that this is a clear indication that Raoul Wallenberg was temporarily a numbered prisoner while under investigation in Moscow prisons. We can be assured that Wallenberg was at that time still alive, not yet sentenced insofar as he is described as the arrested rather than the convicted  or the deceased.  As we have seen from other prisoners who were numbered while under investigation in Moscow prisons and then sentenced under a number, the sentenced number was different.  For example, convicted Prisoner Number 15 was called the arrested Number 30 while under investigation.   Our findings would show that if Raoul Wallenberg ‘disappeared’ in 1947 rather than being executed, he was most likely sentenced by OSO in June of 1947 as Prisoner Number 14 and sent to Vladimir Prison soon thereafter.  

 

The warden of the prison, where numbered prisoners were concerned, had to turn to his overseer in the Prison Department MGB or Prison Directorate for instruction on every detail related to the prisoner's care-- which did not prevent the nachalnik from expressing his personal opinion regarding orders to his superior. In turn, the Prison Directorate under Colonel Kuznetsov -- who personally signed most of the special orders regarding Numbered Prisoners – would consult the Investigative Unit of the 1st Main Directorate MVD – at least by 1953.

 

The mental stress on individual prisoners whose contact with the outside world had been severely cut was very great.  Psychiatric breakdowns are well documented.  Being placed in the punishment cell (kartser) did not deter convicted Prisoner Number 15 at Vladimir from painting his number and cell number on his valenki or boots, so that vigilant prisoners watching from the window as he took his walk could be made aware of his existence. Or, Hungarian Prisoner C might shout his name and number at the top of his lungs from his cell, demanding that his Embassy or previous contacts in Allied intelligence be notified. 

 

Such behavior created problems for those guarding them.  Personnel who came in contact with a prisoner determined to reveal his identity would have to report this incident in such a way as to make clear that he had not 'heard or understood' the name – for such knowledge was strictly forbidden. After Stalin's death, Kuznetsov as head of the Prison Directorate pressured those to whom he reported to re-evaluate their practices of imposing serious periods of isolation on an unstable single prisoner, such as Hungarian Prisoner C.   On the other hand, a numbered or seriously isolated prisoner who was so intimidated that he did not dare to defy the system by drawing attention to himself might sit forever and indeed get lost.

 

This was further complicated by the fact that those numbered, renamed or in strict isolation were denied the right to write protests to their detention, their sentence or specific conditions in their regime.  Hungarian Prisoner C writes about this in his appeal to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, not forwarded because of its anti-Soviet content: I was absent from my trial in 1950 in Moscow.  Since then I have been demanding re-examination of my case, but my appeals were blocked by the local authorities and the medical personnel pronounced me mad.  And so my petitions were not valid.

 

If 1947 appeared to be a year for centralization, 1953 – after the death of Stalin -- seemed to indicate the beginnings of reform – and, for some, re-numbering.  As early as April, amnesty was proposed for Vladimir long term Prisoner Number 3, (born1896) --sentenced on November 30, 1946.  On July 13, 1953 Deputy Head of the Prison Department, Prison Directorate MVD --wrote to I.A. Serov as Deputy Head MVD suggesting that PRISONER Number 3 might even be 'released without exile.'    This was a favor as many of the older numbered or heavily isolated prisoners, upon release, were sent into internats (asylums) in remote regions. It is important to note Serov's decision-making role at critical points in the fate of some of these numbered prisoners.

 

By September 1953, the names of many of the numbered prisoners had been restored.  As their numbers were released, fresh prisoners from Moscow or others in isolation prisons to the East could be renumbered (their number reduced) before being brought to Vladimir.  By 1954, those on the 'strictly isolated' list, including at least one reported Wallenberg witness, were already being brought back to Vladimir from Verchne-Uralsk and Alexandrovsk Central.  By 1955, others came from Irkutsk.  Both our calculations and eyewitness reports would suggest that Raoul Wallenberg was also brought to Vladimir during this time period, although there is indication that he may have been there previously, as early as 1947.   (See Vladimir Corpus II study of Dr. Marvin W. Makinen and Ari Kaplan).

 

The isolated fate of a 'numbered prisoner' was shared equally by leaders of the Baltic nations arrested in 1941; members of the Polish Government in Exile invited to Moscow in March of 1945 until their show trial in June of that year; Stalin's in-laws such as Anna Sergeyevna and Eugenia Alexandra Allilueva sentenced in 1948 ; Boris Menshagin – the chief witness to the truth of the Katyn Forest Massacre and an unknown Ukrainian national leader – among others.  

 

It is not difficult to understand the goal in concealing prisoners as prominent or controversial as those mentioned above.  The same could be said of the case of numbered prisoners like former Ministers of State Security, Abakumov  and Yezhov – arrested in what can only be described as a reshifting of power. Few guards would refrain from bragging about the important prisoner under their watch, some might even be sympathetic. The precautions expressed in the April 1947 instructions were to the point. Though rare -- there was at least one instance of escape as the result of a numbered prisoner successfully bribing a guard.  Beyond this, one must bear in mind that zealous nationalist networks were constantly seeking information about their leaders and rewarded well those who informed or made communication possible between them.

 

It is less easy to follow the reasoning behind the imprisonment of such numbered prisoners as the Armenian Jesuit priest, PRISONER AA  (Vladimir Prisoner Number 15);  Wolfang Johann Meiners (Vladimir Prisoner Number 27) about whom we know little as his file was never requested; or the convicted Mexican Communist Vadillo (Vladimir Prisoner Number 28) who sat for some time in Vladimir Prison with the Langfelder witness Ernst Huber.  Huber, while not numbered, was under strict regime at Vladimir. According to Huber own testimony, he sat alone in heavy isolation from his arrival May 27, 1951 until October 26, 1952. Then Vadillo – who had psychiatric problems -- was brought into his cell.  Because of his strict isolation status, however, Huber was not allowed to write letters to protest his cellmate's threatening behavior until the 15 of February 1954.  Prisoner AA who arrived in Vladimir in 1947 was not allowed to write a letter regarding his missing possessions until 1953. 

 

This gives some indication of the interaction of closely related but different forms of isolation.   The fact that a numbered prisoner and a prisoner in 'strict regime' were allowed to share a cell together establishes that it would also be possible for Raoul Wallenberg to have sat with others on the isolation list for a certain corpus.  In Vladimir, the prison where much of our research has been concentrated, there is clear evidence of isolated prisoners whose cards do not give any cell history for them for at least five years.  We also have cases  -- like Herbert von Richthofen, former German Ambassador to Bulgaria urgently called back from Alexandrovsk Central MGB to be forwarded to Vladimir Prison – who seems to have vanished into oblivion.

 

 

Calculating the Possible Number for Wallenberg & Others in 1947  (Excerpted)

 

It should be acknowledged that there could be -- at one and the same time -- two persons bearing the same number "15" –  one 'under investigation' in Moscow prisons -- and another convicted on June 28, 1947 and sent away from Moscow as of his sentencing.     

 

Of these two systems – 'under investigation' and 'sentenced', the convicted numbered prisoner series is by far the clearest to follow.   The numbers are sequential, referenced to the date their verdicts were handed down by OSO.   At the same time, we can also see that – in terms of those brought to Vladimir – re-numbering began at the end of February 1952.  In short we have a limited number of sentenced numbered prisoners with a very specific gap of numbers for which there is no identification.

 

 

            NAME OF PRISONER                        NUMBER                    DATE SENTENCED

 

                                                            Number 14                             

PRISONER AA                                    Number 15                  June 28, 1947

                                                            Number 16

                                                            Number 17

                                                            Number 18

                                                            Number 19

                                                            Number 20

            Stalin Relative                          Number 21                  May 29, 1948

            Stalin Relative                          Number 22                  May 29, 1948

            Stalin Relative                          Number 23                  May 29, 1948

            Hungarian Prisoner C               Number24                   July 1, 1950

            Hungarian Prisoner P               Number 25                  July 1, 1950

            Hungarian Prisoner S               Number 26                  July 1, 1950

            German Prisoner M                  Number 27                  August 14, 1950

            Vadillo, Martinez                     Number 28                  March 3, 1951            

            Menshagin, Boris G.                Number 29                  September 12, 1951

            Stulchinskis, Alexandras          Number 30                  February 27, 1952

            Shilingas, Statis                                    Number 31                  February 27, 1952

            Gonkunas, Jozis                      Number 32                  February 27, 1952

 

Alternatively, if the numbers of the Baltic prisoners 'under investigation' were included in the sequence as part of  centralizing the system, then we have Prisoner One – Hungarian 'American spy' arrested in 1940, sentencing date unknown.  Prisoner Two – unknown in all details.  Prisoner Three, Georgian, sentenced and already at Vladimir, with Merkis and the others sitting in Ivanovo MGB or Kazan Psychiatric facility part of the chain.  In this case, the only numbers which are unaccounted for in 1947 remain 14, 19 and 20.

 

By April 1952, the Baltic leader numbered prisoners 'under investigation' in Ivanovo MGB began to be sentenced by OSO in Moscow.  The new numbers they received as Prisoners were reduced in a number of occasions.  

 

            Merkis, Anton                          Number 1                    April 16, 1952

            Merkis, N.                                Number 2                    April 16, 1952

                        NUMBER 3 ALREADY IN VLADIMIR PRISON

            Merkis, H.                                Number 4                    April 16, 1952

            Urbshis, I.K.                            Number 5                    April 16, 1952

Urbshis, M.                              Number 6                    April 16, 1952

Munters, V.N.                          Number 7                    April 16, 1952

Munters, N.                              Number 8                    April 16, 1952

Balodis,                                   Number 9

Balodis, E.                               Number 10

Laidoner, I.                              Number 11                  May 20, 1952

Laidoner, M.                            Number 12                  Already Sentenced

 

Prisoner Number 13 was dead, so that number may have become available at that time.  So again the numbers for sentenced prisoners allows for the numbers 14 and above. 

 

 

“AA”: Prisoner Number 15

 

On the 29th of July 1947 a transport order number 16/1-65535 was prepared by Department A to send PRISONER AA to Vladimir Prison as sentenced Prisoner Number 15.  PRISONER AA, an Armenian national Jesuit priest, had been a chaplain in the Italian Army and had served also as a medic on the Soviet front.  He was arrested in 1942 as a military officer with the rank of Lieutenant and held in camps as a prisoner of war.  Upon arrival in Moscow prisons in December 1945, he was still listed as a prisoner of war but placed under the jurisdiction of the 1st Directorate NKGB USSR per order Head Department 9.  

 

Throughout his interrogations under the 1st Directorate, PRISONER AA was called up under his name.   On the 2nd of May 1946, jurisdiction shifted to the Investigative Department for Especially Important Matters (OBD).  His arrest was undocumented as late as October 11, 1946. By December of 1946, PRISONER AA was known as 'Prisoner Number 30,' whether at Lubyanka or Lefortovo. PRISONER AA was at that time 'under investigation' but on June 28, 1947 he was sentenced according to Articles 58.4 and 58.11 of the Criminal Codes of the RSFSR to ten years in prison for 'Counter-Revolutionary' activities– at which point he became convicted Prisoner Number 15.  In a letter to his sisters which appears in his file (meaning it was never mailed), PRISONER AA explains the charges against him as follows:  "….membership in a counter-revolutionary organization – that is, for the fact that in 1937 when I entered the Jesuit order  in Rome, I became a member of that religious organization – which they consider counter-revolutionary.[ii]  However, prior to his military service and work in Rome, PRISONER AA --a scholar of classical and modern languages --served as Assistant to the Bishop of Lwow and also served in Teheran – two locations that later became important intelligence-gathering sites.

 

 

 

The Blotting of Names in the Alphabetical Possessions Registry

 

Our argument that Wallenberg, Langfelder and the unknown Hungarian – Sandor Katona -- are candidates for these missing numbers is strengthened by the fact that PRISONER AA was sentenced by OSO on June 28, 1947 and sent to Vladimir on August 3rd as Prisoner Number 15.   For PRISONER AA shared one aspect of Wallenberg and Langfelder's fates – his possessions had also been blotted out of the 1947 Lubyanka Alphabetical Possessions Registry. Until now, the fact that the names of Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona were blotted out has been taken to mean that all three had died.  However, there are four blots in the possessions registry, not three, and the authorities on both the Russian and Swedish sides have puzzled over the possible connection between these three prisoners from Hungary and PRISONER AA.  One might ask, for example, were they all – like PRISONER AA -- taken for 'British spies?'   Did they all have connections with international religious organizations  – whether Catholic or Zionist?  Were they involved in the same underground rescue network?

 

The fact that Wallenberg arrived in Lubyanka on March 1, 1947, his possessions registered but seemingly never transferred elsewhere, has been used to imply that Wallenberg died.   The blotted line for Wallenberg is compared with the case of his long term cellmate, Roedl, whose possessions were withdrawn when he was transferred to Camp 27.  This is a fallacious argument because -- while AA's name is also blotted out of the possessions registry – he did not die in captivity. Rather he was released on the 7th of February 1954 to the Italian authorities and returned to Rome.  It is also critical that forensics be done on the Wallenberg blot for 1947 to establish whether he brought his rucksack with him as in the transfer from Budapest to Lubyanka and Lubyanka to Lefortovo in 1945.  If instead he brought only ‘personal documents’, this would give us a better idea of his intended length of stay.

 

Perhaps then the blotting of these particular names in the registry has nothing to do with death.  Instead, it may indicate the transfer of important information regarding possessions to a different registry with more limited access.   We are assuming a registry which dealt exclusively with the possessions of numbered prisoners and was under the control of a separate division, department, directorate or even individual.  Such a registry would be necessary to properly assist in every aspect of a numbered prisoner's daily maintenance – which includes the receiving of possessions upon request from storage or making use of  moneys in their account to buy food through authorities at the prison kiosk. 

 

The second point to be made is that these possessions of the numbered prisoner were not confiscated.  They were still available to him. Examination of PRISONER AA's file shows that PRISONER AA wrote from Vladimir Prison more than once for the return of his 'precious possessions' taken from him at successive points during his transfer to Moscow between 1943 and 1944.  This particular letter was written in October 1953 -- just after he had been given permission to resume the use of his name:

 

"Comrade Citizen Head.  According to your oral order of the 14th October 1953, I inform you of the following:  On the 29th of July 1943 in Internal Prison (Kazan) they took from me for storage – military rucksack with precious possessions under receipt Number 1146[1] and 67 rubles of money (don't remember number of the receipt).  During several transfers from prison to prison [1]they took from me money receipt on 19 June 1944 in Butyrka Prison and receipt for possessions on the 8th December 1946 in Internal Prison, having merely said: 'Your money will be given back afterwards … Precious possessions cannot be given personally.  They are forwarded to the destination.'

 

With this everything was over and there is no money or precious things.  I spoke about this in due time with the heads of Internal Prison and Lefortovo prisons. I wrote about this to the Center from Vladimir on the 11 October 1947 and on the 23 February 1951 according to the advice of the respective heads of prison.  To this date I have not seen any result.  With respect.  [PRISONER AA].  

 

P.S. Small list of precious possessions:  Pocket watch with chain; alarm clock in leather case; Medallion – gold; Chain – gold; wedding ring of gold; cigarette case of silver; small vase of white metal; Waterman pen with gold tip…..

 

This same list of possessions appears in PRISONER AA's file, Page 118/123, with the handwritten note:  To be filed. Receipts for possessions  and money rewritten for Number 15.  8 March 1949.   The items, listed below, are clearly those of a soldier/chaplain.  While unable to retrieve possessions of ritual value, PRISONER AA’s possessions were still being guarded for him, although an ideological threat to the Communist system.  They eventually could be made available to him, depending upon the discretion of those who watched over him.

 

            Copy of Receipt for Possessions – To be filed.

 

            1.         Small case with church 'utensils.'

            2.         Bag for possessions – used.

            3.         Bag, canvas – 1.

            4.         Leather boots – used – one pair.

            5.         Church clothes – black wool – used – 1 set.

            6.         Lighter – copper

            7.         Saucepan, metallic – 1.

            8.         Uniform, overcoat in green – used.  1 item.

            9.         (Illegible) – green. 1.

            10.       Gray blanket – used (1).

            11.       Metallic flask – 1.

            12.       Fountain pen – 1.

            13.       Spectacles with case – 1.

            14.       Copper chain and cross – 1.

                        Belongings received by (ILLEGIBLE)

                        SIGNED:  Prisoner Number 15.         

 

By 25 April 1952, AA had access to at least one of the possessions on this list: To Mr. Citizen Nachalnik.  II-24.  I ask for your permission to make a bridge on my own account and to exchange the wide belt for lumbago which was prescribed for me by doctors five years ago, because the old one is getting shabby and sags in parts.  Also for the receipt from storage – my aluminum saucepan.  Also for the demonstration of my possessions received in parcels…as you so friendly promised me.  (Underlining is mine).

 

The fact that these possessions were saved for the numbered prisoners, to be made available to them at a later date, can be established also in the case of the three Hungarian Numbered Prisoners.  When the three Hungarians arrived in Vladimir in 1950 to be put in 'isolation cells in strict isolation', Zhuravlov wrote to Yevsenin of the Prison Department: Prisoners 25 and 26 had, among their possessions, copies of receipts Number 258 and 36 with their surnames and first names.  They are not notified of their numbers. Give your instruction whether they should be notified.  For your information – the other numbered prisoners here know their own numbers.

 

When Hungarian Prisoner C was sent to Butyrka Prison Hospital by special convoy as if 'for especially dangerous State criminal’ in June of 1953, he took with him an array of possessions which he had brought with him from Budapest.  These are listed under Receipt for Number 24. Presumably these personal possessions followed him to Leningrad Special Prison Hospital, back to Vladimir and then to Kazan.  Prisoner  C was the 'last remaining Hungarian citizen' to be repatriated from Kazan Prison Hospital.  After he returned to Budapest, a letter was sent from the Prison Department on the 10th of December 1958 to the Head of Registration, Archival Department KGB:

 

In reference to [Hungarian Prisoner C], sentenced July 1, 1950 by OSO....When in Internal Prison MGB, [Prisoner C] was given Receipt Number 258/4 of 4 June 1946 for his watch, foreign money (13,000 Hungarian pengoes and 200 U.S. dollars) and Receipt Number 122/   of 7 II 50 for ten foreign coins and six foreign bank notes; plus  Receipt Number 453/le of April 12, 1950 for personal documents and papers.   By decision of the Military Collegium ...he was repatriated on the 14 of June 1957 and has requested the return of his valuables, money and personal papers.  We are sending copies of his receipts and requesting that you resolve (reshitvopros) (the question of) the return of his valuables – or compensation for them – also of returning his personal papers.  For your information, [former Prisoner C]  lives in Hungary....Enclosed three receipts. Signed OFFICIAL V.  

 

The return of Raoul Wallenberg's personal documents, his cigarette case and moneys in October of 1989 should be evaluated in light of the above.   As we already know from the file of German Prisoner HM, personal identification papers were kept for the prisoner in his Archival Investigation File, not his personal file.  German Prisoner HM's valuables, removed at his arrest, had already been turned over to the State Treasury because they were confiscated when he was sentenced.  But German Prisoner HM was not a numbered prisoner.  In the case of Hungarian Prisoner C all three categories of significant possessions – his personal papers, valuables and moneys  -- were under the control of the Registration Archival Department KGB.

 

Ramifications of Wallenberg's Returned Possessions

 

The fact that the authorities expected Hungarian Prisoner C’s valuables to be retrieved raises very important questions regarding Wallenberg's possessions.  In October 1989, when Raoul Wallenberg's next of kin – Dr. Guy von Dardel and his sister, Nina Lagergren – were invited to Moscow by the Russian Government to bring closure to the 'tragic mistake' of Wallenberg's arrest, the following items were handed over to them.

 

            Wallenberg's passport Number 248

            Wallenberg's car registration

            Wallenberg's address book and calendar for 1944

            Cigarette case – gold (1)

            Money in the following currencies:

                        1,000 U. S dollars (issued in 1934)

                        500 Swiss francs

                        30 Swedish crowns

                        153,443 Hungarian pengoes

                        25,750 in Bulgarian currency

 

At that time, the next of kin were also handed a document to sign as a receipt for these possessions.  As this document contained a clause acknowledging that Wallenberg was dead, they were not prepared to sign.  

 

If Wallenberg died in 1947 when suggested, would not his valuables have already been turned over to the State?   If sentenced without number, would they not have been confiscated?  Why were they still around in 1989, waiting to be turned over to Wallenberg's next of kin?    Is the currency handed over the exact same bills that had been in Wallenberg’s hands, or does this represent a compensation?  If compensation, where is the receipt from which the correct amounts were calculated?  It could only be found in one of his files or on file in the Financial Department MGB in which Mironov, head of Moscow Internal Prison, would appear to have kept a direct hand – overseeing the transfer of monies and parcels to prisoners formerly under the OBD.

 

While we do not have the original receipts and therefore cannot verify that these are all of Wallenberg's valuables and possessions, we can begin to study the ramifications of the return of these few simple belongings in terms of normal Prison regulations.  Gennadi Kuzovkin's study of the declassified Prison Directorate Archives of GARF for this project teaches us that:  a) such valuables were taken from the prisoner within 48 hours of arrest; b) they followed him from prison to prison, until such time the court decided they were to be confiscated, or he died or escaped, c) during the investigative period, the investigative body kept the prisoner's precious metals and savings account records until the sentencing; d) currency turned over to the UNKVD Financial Department was put in a sealed parcel or envelope with a cover letter indicating name of the arrested, description of valuables by number and weight, the number and date of the receipt.  Form Number 2 was placed in the Investigation File.  This sealed parcel was reviewed at least four times a year by at least two persons to establish that the contents of the parcel matched those on the receipts. This confirmation was inscribed in a ledger with annual accounts.  Any money or valuables kept for periods beyond the confiscated term (meaning, I presume, periods where one would expect them to have been confiscated) were checked for potentially collectible sums and valuables. 

 

When the prisoner was sentenced, both his case file and his valuables were sent to court on the basis of the decision made by the investigating bodies.  After the sentencing and the court's ruling whether the valuables were to be confiscated or returned, the 1st Special Department would inform the Financial body responsible for storing money and valuables. All confiscations made without the corresponding sentence (were) considered illegal. (NOTE:  This would reinforce the Russian position that Raoul Wallenberg was never sentenced, but the possibilities must be analyzed thoroughly, not on the surface.)  

 

If the Court ruled to return the possessions, a sentenced prisoner received his precious metals back within three months – otherwise it was turned over to the State bank.  An owner had to receive his money within three months – otherwise it was turned over to the State Budget.  The convicted prisoner's valuables were sent to his destination.  When the valuables arrived at the prison a report was sent to the Financial Department of the Prison within three days, a second copy was to be sent back to the sender within one day, with confirmation that the moneys were to be transferred to the prison's address.  The sender was to transfer the moneys within two days by post as  'valuable parcels.’

 

When the owner (was) unknown, money and valuables (went) to the State Budget using the same procedure as for confiscation – only with specific indication that in this case the owner is unknown.   A special investigation was required – with interrogations etc. to try to re-establish the identity of the owner – prior to the decision to hand it over to the State. 

 

The money of those who died in camps went to the State budget if not claimed by the heirs. Among the Prisoners of War and Interned, there existed a Special card index of the Special Information Bureau MVD ordered by Serov.  Valuables in parcels were listed indicating owner, year of birth, rank, citizenship, when and where left one detention site for the next, the number of receipt and so on. 

 

Finally:

If the prisoner dies in prison, his possessions are returned to the family – as a rule – if they can confirm the right. 

 

If the possessions are not claimed within six months, the valuables go to the State budget – his other belongings are destroyed and an act is made.

 

Signed: OFFICIAL V, Captain of State Security

            Head, Revision Department  GTU NKVD USSR

 

 

To conclude, if Raoul Wallenberg had indeed died in 1947 and there existed somewhere an act or registration of this fact, these valuables and possessions could not have been returned in 1989 as they would already have been turned over to the State.  Nor is it possible to claim that the owner of these valuables and possessions were unknown to those competent authorities who watched over them and periodically re-confirmed that they had not been diminished, or that confiscation had not been ordered, or – one would presume – that the prisoner had not died or escaped. Wallenberg's identification papers, valuables and currency had to have followed him  to the end – meaning they would be available if the need arose, either from him or some internal decision.  The most logical explanation then is that Raoul Wallenberg died earlier in 1989 and that the authorities, holding to proper procedure, were offering these valuables to the next of kin and requesting – as is proper – that they acknowledge with the receipt that their half-brother was dead.  I would further emphasize the importance of the fact that the various forms of foreign currency are presumably intact.  Foreign citizens having visas for going abroad receive (back) foreign currency within limits established by legislation, at their request.  In short, this money -- as passport, car registration and cigarette case – were sitting around for the day when Raoul Wallenberg would have gone home – either because he was repatriated with his end of term or, more likely, through an exchange.

 

 

Blots and the Numbering of Certain Prisoners

 

If we were try to co-ordinate a search for the route taken by Wallenberg's possessions in keeping with his disappearance, it would be most helpful to know which Number was his.  The same applies to Langfelder and/or Katona.  In this regard, it is very helpful that the unidentified numbers 14, 16-20 form a series around Prisoner Number 15.   These blots in the alphabetical possessions registry dispels the argument of 'coincidence' in favor of a coherent organized processing of a group of foreign prisoners.   We can therefore explore further the hypothesis that Raoul Wallenberg – rather than dying in July 1947 – may have 'disappeared' as Prisoner Number 14 or Number 16, depending on whether or not he was 'sentenced' and shipped out prior to Prisoner AA or after him.   There are arguments for both.

 

Other possibilities are: 1) that Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona are sentenced Prisoners Number 16, 17 and 18;  2) that Wallenberg is sentenced Prisoner Number 16 while Langfelder/Katona who arrived in Lubyanka together on July 22/23, 1947 as sentenced prisoners could be any of the two adjacent numbers in the series – that is, Prisoners 17 and 18; 18 and 19; or 19 and 20.  If, however, we are speaking of prisoners still 'under investigation' – and if there is a centralized count – then the only possibilities are 14, 19 and 20 in the Spring and Summer of 1947 for Wallenberg, Langfelder and/or Katona. (NOTE: The Russian side’s recently identified prisoners 16, 17 and 18 at MGB Prison in response to this report.  If these numbers are from Lubyanka they most likely reflect prisoners under investigation (and we believe this to be the case because one of these prisoners was held at Vladimir post-sentencing, under his name).  If, however, these reflect sentenced numbered prisoners, then we have only three possible numbers for three possible men: 14, 19 and 20, for Wallenberg and Langfelder/Katona respectively.)

 

We have established that corresponding openings exist showing the arrival of a prisoner or prisoners undergoing isolation at Vladimir Prison in the Spring and Summer of 1947. Dr. Marvin Makinen and Ari Kaplan's computer analysis of the cell occupancy of Corpus II, where most of these prisoners were isolated at Vladimir, shows a sequence of unoccupied (unaccounted for) cells.  These are:  1) April 11, 1947 to July 23, 1947 – Cell II-25; July 24, 1947 -  to June 1, 1948 – Cell II-2.  After early June 1948, according to their analysis, there are no other long term unoccupied cells to add to the sequence.   This could suggest two different isolated prisoners whose cards have been removed from the kartoteka -- one arriving in April 1947, the other on July 23rd or 24th, at a point coincidental with the rounding up and interrogating of many of the primary Wallenberg/Langfelder witnesses.  Or it could suggest one prisoner who arrived in April and was transferred to Cell II-2 on July 23, 1947.   A third cell, II-3, became vacant from July 28, 1947 until May 2, 1948.

 

In all three cases – the April or July 1947 arrivals – the period of unaccounted for isolation ends in the Spring of 1948 (early May or the beginning of June 1948).  This is also of interest to us because we are currently documenting a number of eyewitness reports showing Wallenberg in Moscow prisons from the winter of 1948/49 extending into 1949.  In this regard, Grossheim-Krisko, also known as Heinrich Tomsen, who worked at Sector B of the Swedish Legation in Budapest  has stated in an original testimony that he is 'convinced' that Wallenberg was among a group of 100-110 prisoners who were transferred from Lefortovo Prison to Butyrka in March of 1950. De Latri has also reported that when he complained to a Soviet official in Butyrka in the early Fifties about the severity of his treatment, he was told: 'What are you complaining about?  We have a Swede here who is much worse off than you.'   

 

We have repeatedly requested to study the Butyrka incoming registry for the time period March 30/31 to April 5, 1950 when almost all the prisoners under the 4th Department Third Main Directorate were passed to the jurisdiction of the Second Main Directorate.  In spite of the absolute meticulousness of Butyrka's record keeping – outranking either that of Internal Prison or Lefortovo – we have been told that such registries no longer exist because they were 'destroyed' along with the kartoteka soon after the death of Stalin.   Examining this registry, or reconstructing the list of those who crossed to Butyrka in March/April 1950, is critical to understanding whether or not Wallenberg was still under investigation by the 4th Department Third Main Directorate -- as opposed to OBD.   For with the exception of those prisoners sentenced soon after their arrival – up until 1948 – the original corps group of prisoners of war were sent to Butyrka for further pre-sentencing investigation under the 2nd Main Directorate in 1950, and convicted mostly in 1951 and 1952.    

 

Because of the importance of this registry, we are requesting the actual destruction documents be given to us.  Such documents were presented by the administration of Vladimir Prison for their incoming registry for a number of years in the Fifties and Sixties, but not including the important years of 1947 and 1957 – the existence of which they could ‘neither confirm nor deny.’    

 

 

Temporarily' Misplaced

           

While there are many missing pieces of information in this study – one of the most important is the question of control.  In the limited information shown to us, we have seen nothing that would indicate that Raoul Wallenberg was under the OBD, 2nd or 1st Main Directorates.  And yet those who support the rumor of his death by execution very often point toward the sinister OBD – as if this unit was synonymous with the danger of execution.  OBD is the very unit that had jurisdiction over Prisoner AA,  Okulicki, Pannwitz, Gottlieb, Pataridze, Shulgin, Goldstein and Hungarian Prisoner Number One.  While not everyone under their control died, this was the more notorious division.  When stories are told of Abakumov being arrested with his deputies – or that the deputies made every effort to destroy the files – the raconteurs are referring to Leonov, head of the OGB and his colleagues. 

 

The relevance of who had control of Raoul Wallenberg in the summer of 1947 may be understood through a document which emerged from a file of the Prison Directorate NKVD/MVD USSR.  In this document,  Colonel K writes to the Head of Investigative Unit of the 1st Main Directorate requesting that certain prisoners be permitted to resume the use of their names:

 

According to the data of the 1st Special Department of MVD of the USSR – some time ago in keeping with the Order of the Investigative Unit of the 1st Main Directorate MVD of the USSR – the below-mentioned convicts, kept in Vladimir Prison, were to be kept under numbers, as follows:

 

1) Prisoner Number 15 –[PRISONER AA]  also known as …..sentenced by OSO MGB 28 VI 47 to 10 years of prison,

 

2)Prisoner Number 24 – [PRISONER C]  – Hungarian subject- former officer of English Army, sentenced OSO MGB on the 1st July 1950 to 25 years prison;

 

3)Prisoner Number 25 – [PRISONER P] former officer of the Hungarian imperialist army – sentenced by OSO MGB, 1st July 1950 – 15 years.

 

4)Prisoner Number 26 –[PRISONER S]  – former auditor and lawyer of Budapest – sentenced by OSO MGB 1 July 1950 to 25 years;

 

5)Prisoner Number 27 – [PRISONER M]  – former soldier of the German Fascist Army, sentenced OSO MGB on the 14th of August 1950 to 25 years;

 

6)Prisoner Number 28 – [PRISONER V]  – Without any special occupations.  Sentenced OSO MGB  3 March 1951 to 20 years in prison.

 

In connection with the fact that – keeping convicts as numbered prisoners for a long period of time causes certain inconveniences -- I ask you to inform me whether the need to keep the above-mentioned prisoners under numbers has not expired.  Besides that, an order was given regarding some of the above-mentioned prisoners – particularly Number 24 – to keep them in prison in solitary 'order' (in total isolation).  Solitary detention for such long periods of time negatively effects the psyche of prisoners and leads to psychiatric disorders.…In connection with the above-mentioned, the Prison Directorate of MVD of the USSR thinks it reasonable not to impose solitary detention on prisoners  with long terms of imprisonment.  I ask you to inform me of your opinion on this subject.

 

At the same time, I ask you to inform me of your agreement to send Prisoner Number 24  to Kazan Prison Psychiatric Hospital MVD USSR for treatment.  Signed: M. K., Head, Prison Directorate.   26 August 1953.

 

The reply to Colonel K's letter from S, Deputy Head of the 1st Main Directorate MVD, on the 4th of September 1953 is surprising, to say the least:

 

            To K.  RE 34/2/2637 of 26 August 1953. 

 

1.Not against the cancellation of solitary detention for convicts [PRISONER C, PRISONER P, PRISONER S, PRISONER M, PRISONER V] and their detention henceforth will be under their real names – with other prisoners also sentenced for long terms of imprisonment.  Doing this, establish such an order that the number of prisoners who know about the detention of the above-mentioned prisoners in Vladimir should be as small as possible…...

 

3.[PRISONER AA]  kept under guard in Vladimir Prison is unknown to us. (Bolding and underlinings mine.)

 

It should be remembered that the Hungarian prisoners C and S had been originally under Abakumov but, in response to Prison Warden Ionov’s protests to their lengthy detentions without moving the case forward – which took place in 1949 -- they were turned over to the 2nd Main Directorate, under Pitovranov, for sentencing in 1950.  Their numbering presumably began with their sentencing, at a point when they were no longer under Abakumov’s control.  Prisoner AA was numbered while under investigation in 1946, at that time under the jurisdiction of the Especially Important Matters Division – i.e., Leonov, et al, deputies of Abakumov..  He was sentenced by OSO in June of 1947 and brought to Vladimir on August 3, 1947.

 

The statement that Number 15 'being guarded at Vladimir is unknown to us' would imply a splintering of responsibility and/or deeper levels of secrecy even on the higher levels at the 'Center.'  What we must now consider is whether PRISONER AA had – temporarily at least -- 'fallen through a crack' generated by the arrest of Abakumov and his deputies in July 1951, the death of Stalin in March 1953 and/or the arrest of Beria and his deputies in June of that year. 

 

While we still do not know the specific charges against Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona – if they were all numbered at the same time they may well have had the same control.  Thus if Prisoner Number 15 was unknown to the Investigative Unit of the 1st Main Directorate MVD on September 4, 1953, there could have been a 'black out' on this entire series between, say, July 1951 -- when Abakumov and his deputies heading the Investigative Unit of Especially Grave Matters were arrested -- and August 1953. 

 

Ignorance of the existence of a particular Numbered Prisoner in one section of the Center would not prevent his continuing under the appointed prison's regime. Again, it is of utmost importance whether or not the isolated, numbered or long term prisoner had the right to appeal and, psychologically, whether he made use of that power – writing appeals, demanding to communicate with the nachalnik, or simply acting up in a negative way that required a decision from Central. 

 

Even then, we have the possibility of a 'disappearance within a disappearance', of a temporary crack in the system.  September 23, 1953 Begun, Head of Vladimir Prison, replied to the Deputy Head of the Prison Directorate MVD in regard to the second point in OFFICIAL S's letter:

 

I inform that among numbered prisoners as well as the other contingent of prisoners kept in prison there is no [PRISONER C].  We ask you to give an order to check this and inform me of the results.    

 

Handwritten across this document is the comment: 'To Comrade K.  He is now in Butyrka and is subject to being sent to Kazan.  28 IX 53.'  PRISONER C had been transported from Vladimir to Butyrka no earlier than June of the same year. Handwritten in the margin of this already handwritten memo, someone has inscribed  'Butyrka, Mil.....nowhere!'

 

In the case of PRISONER AA we see that in early 1953  -- when he was unknown to the 1st Main Directorate MVD -- he was drawing attention to his warders at Vladimir by refusing to clean latrines. But this was a matter that could be decided upon locally.   At the same time, money was being forwarded to Begun on Number 15's behalf by Mironov, still head of Internal Prison MGB, who oversaw the passing of parcels or transfers of money from abroad even after sentenced prisoners went under the MVD.   These funds came from Italy, as did subsequent parcels. Here we have an instance where those abroad knew of PRISONER AA’s incarceration under his name, while some of those overseeing his detention as a numbered prisoner or named did not know of him. 

 

                                   

Unresolved Fate and End of Term

 

There is one further point to be made in the PRISONER AA analogy which can lend valuable new insight into the circumstances surrounding the Gromyko Memorandum of February 1957 which is the basis for the 1947 alleged death claim.

 

Like Shulgin, Volkov, and Kutepov,  PRISONER AA was sentenced on June 28, 1947 for Counter-Revolutionary activities according to Articles 54.8 and 54.11.   The three Russians received a term of twenty five years, but PRISONER AA's term was for only ten.  This term did not begin from December 19, 1942 when he was first captured in the Verchne-Kovsky Region as a prisoner of war, nor from January 15, 1945 when he first arrived in Moscow.  Rather it begins February 11, 1947.

 

I can find no documents in PRISONER AA’s file to serve as a reference point for this date.  Therefore I can only comment that on the 13th of February 1947, his Order for Prevention and coupon were issued. [1] and with it an order from Department A 'Not to give any reports on the prisoner of Lefortovo –[PRISONER AA][1]  This order was followed to such a degree that the coupon remains in the file intact.  Ionov has written: 'C' 'Leave it as it is.'   It should be remembered that at the end of February, 1947 both Wallenberg and Roedl were ordered to be transferred from Lefortovo to Lubyanka, Prison but in the end Roedl went alone.  Wallenberg was held back until March 1, 1947.   We consider the possibility that similar steps were being prepared for him to be processed along the lines of PRISONER AA.   In short, this marks the point where he was separated from Roedl for the reason that he was to be numbered and sentenced by the Especially Important Matters Unit, while Roedl was to continue under the 4th Department 3rd Main Directorate.   

 

If Wallenberg was to have been sentenced around the same time as PRISONER AA and if similar exceptions applied to him, then his term of ten years would have also been counted from that same point – whatever it might have been in his case.  This means that his ten year term would have expired in February/March 1957 or thereabouts – the date of the Gromyko Memorandum upon which the Soviets have based their official claim that Wallenberg was dead.  To my view, the fact that a decision would be required as to how to dispose of the prisoner (whether to repatriate, exile or execute him) generated a much more urgent pressure on the Security systems from within than that resulting from diplomatic pressures from abroad.   It is therefore at this time that one might expect a great deal of attention to have been focused on the proper response to the Swedish government, in the reversal of the Vishinsky Memorandum of 1947 which had denied that Wallenberg was to be found on the territory of the Soviet Union.   And, in fact, we know this to have been the case.

 

The third point of concern – where the same decisions would have had to be made – would have fallen in the period 1970-1972, presuming a sentence of 25 years for espionage to Raoul Wallenberg, starting either in 1945 or 1947.  This approximates the end of sightings of Raoul Wallenberg at Vladimir Prison.  As by then, efforts to discuss an exchange of Wallenberg for Wennerstrom had been dismissed by the Swedish government who had also closed the case for a period of fifteen years, repatriation through an exchange was no longer an active option.  Nor was execution, in the sense of ongoing pressure from the Swedish government to release Wallenberg, necessary.  This left exile or ongoing detention, essentially without term, or the final option that – in view of medical or psychiatric problems – Wallenberg would have been formally removed from the MVD system, but would still fall under KGB watch.   If the sightings from the Eighties are to be believed, this most corresponds to the scenario one can expect.  In this context, death in 1989 – at the point when Wallenberg’s possessions were returned to his next of kin – is no longer out of the question.  

 

 

                                    ******************

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS FOLLOW HERE: IGNORE ENDNOTES THAT FOLLOW AS THEY DO NOT BELONG TO THE TEXT BUT IF ONE TRIES TO ERASE THEM, THEY REINTRODUCE THEMSELVES ELSEWHERE AND CREATE HAVOC WITH THE TEXT.  AS YOU SEE ALSO THE END OF THE TEXT LOOPS ITSELF UNTIL PAGE 64.  THIS MATERIAL MUST NOT APPEAR IN THE PUBLISHED WORK AS IT IS OBVIOUSLY A VIOLATION OF MY AGREEMENT WITH THE RUSSIANS.  THANKS.

 



2 From the personal papers of General Dmitri Volkogornov, Head of the Russian side of the Joint POW/MIA Task Force formed in 1992 and a leading Stalinist historian.  These papers are on file in the manuscript collection of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.  This particular document was ordered to remain classified until January of 2000.  It was published however in a Soviet periodical in June of 1994.

 

5 Collection of the Raoul Wallenberg File, UD – Foreign Ministry of Sweden, CD Ram. “G-Lager 1” Attachment.  This letter according to Susanne Berger exists only in the first page.  The rest of the detailing is missing.

 

 

[ii] Aladjani,  Page 108/114.  Registered letter of 22 August 1947 to his sisters Aran and Elena, never sent by the Prison Adminstration.

 

The Blotting of Names in the Alphabetical Possessions Registry

 

Our argument that Wallenberg, Langfelder and the unknown Hungarian – Sandor Katona -- are candidates for these missing numbers is strengthened by the fact that  Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani was sentenced by OSO on June 28, 1947 and sent to Vladimir on August 3rd as Prisoner Number 15.   For Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani shared one aspect of Wallenberg and Langfelder's fates – his possessions had also been blotted out of the 1947 Lubyanka Alphabetical Possessions Registry.  (See Figure III).

 

Until now, the fact that the names of Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona were blotted out has been taken to mean that all three shared the same tragic fate.  However, there are four blots in the possessions registry, not three, and the authorities on both the Russian and Swedish sides have puzzled over the possible connection between these three prisoners from Hungary and Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani.  One might ask, for example, were they all – like Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani -- taken for 'British spies?' [ii]  Did they all have connections with international religious organizations  – whether Catholic or Zionist?  Were they involved in the same underground rescue network?

 

The fact that Wallenberg arrived in Lubyanka on March 1, 1947 and that his possessions  were registered but seemingly never transferred elsewhere has been used to imply that Wallenberg died.   The blotted line for Wallenberg is compared with the case of his long term cellmate, Roedl, whose possessions were withdrawn when he was transferred to Camp 27.  This is a fallacious argument because -- while Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani's name is also blotted out of the possessions registry – he did not die in captivity. Rather he was released on the 7th of February 1954 to the Italian authorities and returned to Rome. [ii]

 

 

 

 

Perhaps then the blotting of these particular names in the registry has nothing to do with death.  Instead, it may indicate the transfer of important information regarding possessions to a different registry with more limited access.   We are assuming a registry which dealt exclusively with the possessions of numbered prisoners and was under the control of a separate division, department,  directorate or even individual.  Such a registry would be necessary to properly assist in every aspect of a numbered prisoner's daily maintenance – which includes the receiving of possessions upon request from storage or making use of  monies in their account to buy food through authorities at the prison kiosk. 

 

The second point to be made is that these possessions of the numbered prisoner were not confiscated.  They were still available to him. Examination of Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani's file shows that Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani appealed from Vladimir more than once for the return of his 'precious possessions' taken from him at successive points during his transfer to Moscow  between 1943 and 1944.  This particular letter was written in October 1953 -- just after he had been given permission to resume the use of his name:

 

"Comrade Citizen Head.  According to your oral order of the 14th October 1953, I inform you of the following:  On the 29th of July 1943 in Internal Prison (Kazan) they took from me for storage – military rucksack with precious possessions under receipt Number 1146[ii] and 67 rubles of money (don't remember number of the receipt).  During several transfers from prison to prison [ii]they took from me money receipt on 19 June 1944 in Butyrka Prison and receipt for possessions on the 8th December 1946 in Internal Prison, having merely said:'Your money will be given back afterwards … Precious possessions cannot be given personally.  They are forwarded to the destination.'

 

With this everything was over and there is no money or precious things.  I spoke about this in due time with the heads of Internal Prison and Lefortovo prisons. I wrote about this to the Center from Vladimir on the 11 October 1947 and on the 23 February 1951 according to the advice of the respective heads of prison.  To this date I have not seen any result.  With respect. P. Aladjani.

 

P.S. Small list of precious possessions:  Pocket watch with chain; alarm clock in leather case; Medallion – gold; Chain – gold; wedding ring of gold; cigarette case of silver; small vase of white metal; Waterman pen with gold tip…..

 

This same list of possessions appears in Aladjani's file, Page 118/123, with the handwritten note:  To be filed. Receipts for possessions  and money rewritten for Number 15.  8 March 1949.   The items, listed below, are clearly those of a soldier/chaplain.  While unable to retrieve possessions of ritual value,  Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani's possessions were still being guarded for him, in spite of their ideological threat to the Communist system.  They eventually could be made available to him, depending upon the discretion of those who watched over him.

 

                Copy of Receipt for Possessions – To be filed.

 

                1.             Small case with church 'utensils.'

                2.             Bag for possessions – used.

                3.             Bag, canvas – 1.

                4.             Leather boots – used – one pair.

                5.             Church clothes – black wool – used – 1 set.

                6.             Lighter – copper

                7.             Saucepan, metallic – 1.

                8.             Uniform, overcoat in green – used.  1 item.

            9.             (Illegible) – green. 1.

                10.           Grey blanket – used (1).

                11.           Metallic flask – 1.

                12.           Fountain pen – 1.

                13.           Spectacles with case – 1.

                14.           Copper chain and cross – 1.

                                Belongings received by (ILLEGIBLE)

                                SIGNED:  Prisoner Number 15.[ii]       

 

By 25 April 1952, Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani had access to at least one of the possessions on this list: To Mr. Citizen Nachalnik.  II-24.  I ask for your permission to make a bridge on my own account and to exchange the wide belt for lumbago which was prescribed for me by doctors five years ago, because the old one is getting shabby and sags in parts.  Also for the receipt from storage – my aluminum saucepan.  Also for the demonstration of my possessions received in parcels…as you so friendly promised me.  (Underlining is mine).

 

The fact that these possessions were saved for the numbered prisoners, to be made available to them at a later date, can be established also in the case of Tibor Clement. When Clement, Schandl and Pap arrived in Vladimir in 1950 to be put in 'isolation cells in strict isolation', Zhuravlov wrote to Yevsenin of the Prison Department: Prisoners 25 and 26 had, among their possessions, copies of receipts Number 258 and 36 with their surnames and first names.  They are not notified of their numbers. Give your instruction whether they should be notified.  For your information – the other numbered prisoners here know their own numbers.[ii] 

 

When Clement was sent to Butyrka Prison Hospital by special convoy as if 'for especially dangerous State criminal in June of 1953, he took with him an array of possessions which he had brought with him from Budapest.  These are listed under Receipt for Number 24.[ii]  Presumably these personal possessions followed him to Leningrad Special Prison Hospital, back to Vladimir and then to Kazan.  Clement was the 'last remaining Hungarian citizen' to be repatriated from Kazan Prison Hospital.  After he returned to Budapest, a letter was sent from the Prison Department on the 10th of December 1958 to the Head of Registration, Archival Department KGB, Pletinov, Ya. A.

 

In reference to Clement, Tibor, sentenced July 1, 1950 by OSO....When in Internal Prison MGB, Clement was given Receipt Number 258/4 of 4 June 1946 for his watch, foreign money (13,000 Hungarian pengoes and 200 U.S. dollars) and Receipt Number 122/   of 7 II 50 for ten foreign coins and six foreign bank notes; plus  Receipt Number 453/le of April 12, 1950 for personal documents and papers.   By decision of the Military Collegium ...he was repatriated on the 14 of June 1957 and  has requested the return of his valuables, money and personal papers  We are sending copies of his receipts and requesting that you resolve (reshitvopros) (the question of) the return of his valuables – or compensation for them – also of returning his personal papers.  For your information, Clement lives in Hungary....Enclosed three receipts. Signed Voronkov.

 

The return of Raoul Wallenberg's personal documents, his cigarette case and monies in October of 1989 should be evaluated in light of the above.   As we already know from the file of Horst Mulle, personal identification papers were kept for the prisoner in his Archival Investigation File, not his personal file. [ii] Mulle's valuables, removed at his arrest, had already been turned over to the State Treasury because they were confiscated when he was sentenced.  But Mulle was not a numbered prisoner.  In the case of Clement all three categories of  significant possessions – his personal papers, valuables and monies -- were under the control of the Registration Archival Department KGB.

 

If Wallenberg died in 1947 when suggested, would not his valuables have already been turned over to the State?   If sentenced without number, would they not have been confiscated?  Why were they still around in 1989, waiting to be turned over to Wallenberg's next of kin[ii]?    Is the currency handed over the exact same bills that had been in Wallenberg’s hands, or does this represent a compensation, as mentioned in the case of the repatriated Clement?  If compensation, where is the receipt?

 

Ramifications of Wallenberg's Returned Possessions

 

The fact that the authorities expected Clement’s valuables to be retrieved raises very important questions regarding Wallenberg's possessions.  In October 1989, when Raoul Wallenberg's next of kin – Dr. Guy von Dardel and his sister, Nina Lagergren – were invited to Moscow by the Russian Government to bring closure to the 'tragic mistake' of Wallenberg's arrest, the following items were handed over to them.

 

                Wallenberg's passport Number 248

                Wallenberg's car registration

                Wallenberg's address book and calendar for 1944

                Cigarette case – gold (1)

                Money in the following currencies:

                                1,000 U. S dollars (issued in 1934)

                                500 Swiss francs

                                30 Swedish crowns

                                153,443 Hungarian pengoes

                                25,750 in Bulgarian currency

 

At that time, the next of kin were also handed a document to sign as a receipt for these possessions.  As this document contained a clause acknowledging that Wallenberg was dead, they were not prepared to sign.  

 

If Wallenberg died in 1947 when suggested, would not his valuables have already been turned over to the State?   If sentenced without number, would they not have been confiscated?  Why were they still around in 1989, waiting to be turned over to Wallenberg's next of kin[ii]?    Is the currency handed over the exact same bills that had been in Wallenberg’s hands, or does this represent a compensation?  If compensation, where is the receipt?

 

While we do not have the original receipts and therefore cannot verify that these are all of Wallenberg's valuables and possessions, we can begin to study the ramifications of the return of these few simple belongings in terms of normal Prison regulations.  Gennadi Kuzovkin's study of the declassified Prison Directorate Archives of GARF teaches us that:  a) such valuables were taken from the prisoner within 48 hours of arrest; b) they followed him from prison to prison, until such time the court decided they were to be confiscated, or he died or escaped, c) during the investigative period, the investigative body kept the prisoner's precious metals and savings account records until the sentencing; d) currency turned over to the UNKVD Financial Department was put in a sealed parcel or envelope with a cover letter indicating name of the arrested, description of valuables by number and weight, the number and date of the receipt.  Form Number 2 was placed in the Investigation File.  This sealed parcel was reviewed at least four times a year by at least two persons to establish that the contents of the parcel matched those on the receipts. This confirmation was inscribed in a ledger with annual accounts.  Any money or valuables kept for periods beyond the confiscated term (meaning I presume periods where one would expect them to have been confiscated) were checked for potentially confiscatable sums and valuables. 

 

When the prisoner was sentenced, both his case file and his valuables were sent to court on the basis of the decision made by the investigating bodies.  After the sentencing and the court's ruling whether the valuables were to be confiscated or returned, the 1st Special Department would inform the Financial body responsible for storing money and valuables. All confiscations made without the corresponding sentence (were) considered illegal. (NOTE:  This would reinforce the Russian position that Raoul Wallenberg was never sentenced, but the possibilities must be analyzed thoroughly, not on the surface.)  

 

If the Court ruled to return the possessions, a sentenced prisoner received his precious metals back within three months – otherwise it was turned over to the State bank.  An owner had to receive his money within three months – otherwise it was turned over to the State Budget.  The convicted prisoner's valuables were sent to his destination.  When the valuables arrived at the prison a report was sent to the Financial Department of the Prison within three days, a second copy was to be sent back to the sender within one day, with confirmation that the monies were to be transferred to the prison's address.  The sender was to transfer the monies within two days by post as 'valuable parcels.

 

When the owner (was) unknown, money and valuables (went) to the State Budget using the same procedure as for confiscation – only with specific indication that in this case the owner is unknown.   A special investigation was required – with interrogations etc to try to re-establish the identity of the owner – prior to the decision to hand it over to the State. 

 

Of those who died in camp, their money went to the State budget if not claimed by the heirs. Furthermore, among the Prisoners of War and Interned, there existed a Special card index of the Special Information Bureau MVD ordered by Serov where valuables in parcels were listed indicating owner, year of birth, rank, citizenship, when and where left one detention site for the next, the number of receipt and so on. 

 

Finally:

If the prisoner dies in prison, his possessions are returned to the family – as a rule – if they can confirm the right. 

 

If the possessions are not claimed within six months, the valuables go to the State budget – his other belongings are destroyed and an act is made.

 

Signed: Volchonsky, Captain of State Security

                Head, Revision Department  GTU NKVD USSR[ii]

 

 

To conclude, if Raoul Wallenberg had indeed died in 1947 and there existed somewhere an act or registration of this fact, these valuables and possessions could not have been returned in 1989 as they would have been turned over to the State.  Nor is it possible to claim that the owner of these valuables and possessions were unknown to those competent authorities who watched over them and periodically re-confirmed that they had not been diminished, or that confiscation had not been ordered, or – one would presume – that the prisoner had not died or escaped. Wallenberg's identification papers, valuables and currency had to have followed him  to the end – meaning they would be available if the need arose, either from him or some internal decision.  The most logical explanation is then that Raoul Wallenberg died earlier in 1989 and that the authorities, holding to proper procedure, were offering these valuables to the next of kin and requesting – as is proper – that they acknowledge with the receipt that their half-brother was dead.  I would further emphasize the importance of the fact that the various forms of foreign currency are presumably intact.  Foreign citizens having visas for going abroad receive (back) foreign currency within limits established by legislation, at their request.  In short, this money -- as passport, car registration and cigarette case – were sitting around for the day when Raoul Wallenberg would have gone home – either because he was repatriated with his end of term or, more likely, through an exchange.[ii]  

 

 

Blots and the Numbering of Certain Prisoners

 

If we were try to co-ordinate a search for the route taken by Wallenberg's possessions in keeping with his disappearance, it would be most helpful to know which Number was his.  The same applies to Langfelder and/or Katona.  In this regard, it is very helpful that the unidentified numbers 14, 16-20 form a series around  Prisoner Number 15.   These blots in the alphabetical possessions registry dispels the argument of 'coincidence' in favor of a coherent organized processing of a group of foreign prisoners.   We can therefore explore further the hypothesis that Raoul Wallenberg – rather than dying in July 1947 – may have 'disappeared' as Prisoner Number 14 or Number 16, depending on whether or not he was 'sentenced' and shipped out prior to Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani or after him.   There are arguments for both.

 

Other possibilities are: 1) that Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona are sentenced Prisoners Number 16, 17 and 18;  2) that Wallenberg is sentenced Prisoner Number 16 while Langfelder/Katona who arrived in Lubyanka together on July 22/23, 1947 as sentenced prisoners could be any of the two adjacent numbers in the series – that is, Prisoners 17 and 18; 18 and 19; or 19 and 20.  If, however, we are speaking of prisoners still 'under investigation' – and if there is a centralized count – then the only possibilities are 14, 19 and 20 in the Spring and Summer of 1947 for Wallenberg, Langfelder and/or Katona. (NOTE: The Russian side’s recently identified prisoners 16, 17 and 18 at MGB Prison in response to this report.  If these numbers are from Lubyanka they most likely reflect prisoners under investigation (and we believe this to be the case because one of these prisoners was held at Vladimir post-sentencing, under his name).  If, however, these reflect sentenced numbered prisoners, then we have only three possible numbers for three possible men: 14, 19 and 20, for Wallenberg and Langfelder/Katona respectively.

 

It should be noted that there are corresponding openings for the arrival of a prisoner or prisoners undergoing isolation at Vladimir Prison in 1947. Dr. Marvin Makinen and Ari Kaplan's computer analysis of the cell occupancy of Corpus II, where most of these prisoners were isolated at Vladimir, shows a sequence of unoccupied (unaccounted for) cells.  These are:  1) April 11, 1947 to July 23, 1947 – Cell II-25; July 24, 1947 -  to June 1, 1948 – Cell II-2.  After early June 1948, according to their analysis, there are no other long term unoccupied cells to add to the sequence.   This could  suggest two different isolated prisoners whose cards have been removed from the kartoteka -- one arriving in April 1947, the other on July 23rd or 24th, at a point coincidental with the rounding up and interrogating of many of the primary Wallenberg/Langfelder witnesses.  Or it could suggest one prisoner who arrived in April and was transferred to Cell II-2 on July 23, 1947.   A third cell, II-3, became vacant from July 28, 1947 until May 2, 1948. [ii]

 

In all three cases – the April or July 1947 arrivals – the period of unaccounted for isolation ends in the Spring of 1948 (early May or the beginning of June 1948).  This is also of interest to us because we are currently documenting a number of eyewitness reports showing Wallenberg in Moscow prisons from the winter of 1948/49 extending into 1949.  In this regard, Grossheim-Krisko, also known as Heinrich Tomsen, who worked at Sector B of the Swedish Legation in Budapest  has stated in an original testimony that he is 'convinced' that Wallenberg was among a group of 100-110 prisoners who were transferred from Lefortovo Prison to Butyrka in March of 1950. [ii] De Latri has also reported that when he complained to a Soviet official in Butyrka in the early Fifties about the severity of his treatment, he was told: 'What are you complaining about?  We have a Swede here who is much worse off than you.'[ii]  Finally, Gustav Richter – upon the publishing of the Gromyko Memorandum in 1957 – wrote to the son in law of XXXXX Krenner: 

 

Now that the Russian note has been presented, the matter has become even more mysterious because the contradictions are obvious.  How can a man have died in 1947 when three witnesses confirm they were together with him in one cell in 1950/51?

 

We have repeatedly requested to study the Butyrka incoming registry for the time period March 30/31 to April 5, 1950 when almost all the prisoners under the 4th Department Third Main Directorate were passed to the jurisdiction of the Second Main Directorate.  In spite of the absolute meticulousness of Butyrka's record keeping – outranking either that of Internal Prison or Lefortovo – we have been told that such registries no longer exist because they were 'destroyed' along with the kartoteka soon after the death of Stalin.   Examining this registry, or reconstructing the list of those who crossed to Butyrka in March/April 1950, is critical to understanding whether or not Wallenberg was still under investigation by the 4th Department Third Main Directorate until that time, as opposed to OBD.   For with the exception of those prisoners sentenced soon after their arrival – up until 1948 – the original corps group of prisoners of war were sent to Butyrka for further pre-sentencing investigation under the 2nd Main Directorate in 1950, and convicted mostly in 1951 and 1952.    

 

Because of the importance of this registry, we are requesting its actual destruction document as was given to us by the administration of Vladimir Prison for their incoming registry for a number of years in the Fifties and Sixties, but not including the important years of 1947 and 1957.   

 

 

Given that Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani/Prisoner Number 15 did not arrive in Vladimir Prison until August 3rd,  a prisoner arriving between July 22 and July 28th  -- whether Wallenberg or not -- might still be Prisoner Number 14.   As we have identified the convoy troops who brought Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani to Vladimir, we should be able to be more definite about this once we access the appropriate records.

 

The Swiss Hochli has claimed that Wallenberg arrived at the same time as the Russian writer, V. V. Shulgin. [ii] Our study of Shulgin's file revealed that Konstantin Volkov,[ii] Pavel A. Kutepov and Vitaly Shulgin sentenced for Counter-Revolutionary activities by OSO, on or at approximately the same date as Aladjan-Aladjani were brought together to Vladimir on July 25, 1947 in open convoy.  They were even allowed to walk from the station to the prison.  I have repeatedly requested information where there existed another enforced convoy at that time – one which could travel on the same train, but isolated from the others – this information has not been handed over by the authorities.  The fact that the three prisoners were allowed to walk to the prison could be an indication that the van to transport them carried a special prisoner who had to be kept in strict isolation.  .

 

 

Temporarily' Misplaced

               

While there are many missing pieces of information in this study – one of the most important is the question of control.  In the limited information shown to us, we have seen nothing that would indicate that Raoul Wallenberg was under the OBD, 2nd or 1st Main Directorates.  And yet those who support the rumor of his death by execution very often point toward the sinister OBD – as though they were synonymous with execution.  OBD is the very unit that had jurisdiction over Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani, Pannwitz, Gottlieb, Pataridze, Shulgin, Goldstein and Hungarian Prisoner Number One.  Not everyone under their control died.

 

The relevance of this question may be seen in a document that emerged from File XXX of the XXXX Department – Prison Directorate NKVD/MVD USSR.  In this document,  Colonel Kuznetsov writes to Colonel Rublev, [ii]Head of Investigative Unit of the 1st Main Directorate requesting that certain prisoners be permitted to resume the use of their names:

 

According to the data of the 1st Special Department of MVD of the USSR – some time ago in keeping with the Order of the Investigative Unit of the 1st Main Directorate MVD of the USSR – the below-mentioned convicts, kept in Vladimir Prison, were to be kept under numbers, as follows:

 

1) Prisoner Number 15 –ALADZHADZHAN-ALADJANI, P.S. also known as …..sentenced by OSO MGB 28 VI 47 to 10 years of prison,

 

2)Prisoner Number 24 – CLEMENT, Tibor – Hungarian subject- former officer of English Army, sentenced OSO MGB on the 1st July 1950 to 25 years prison;

 

3)Prisoner Number 25 – PAP, Laszlo Janosyene, former officer of the Hungarian imperialist army – sentenced by OSO MGB, 1st July 1950 – 15 years.

 

4)Prisoner Number 26 – SCHANDL, Karl Karlovich – former auditor and lawyer of the Budapest Central Cooperative Credit Society – sentenced by OSO MGB 1 July 1950 to 25 years;

 

5)Prisoner Number 27 – MEINERS, Wolfgang Johann – former soldier of the German Fascist Army, sentenced OSO MGB on the 14th of August 1950 to 25 years;

 

6)Prisoner Number 28 – VADILLO, Martinez E. – Without any special occupations.  Sentenced OSO MGB  3 March 1951 to 20 years in prison.

 

In connection with the fact that – keeping convicts as numbered prisoners for a long period of time causes certain inconveniences -- I ask you to inform me whether the need to keep the above-mentioned prisoners under numbers has not expired.  Besides that, an order was given regarding some of the above-mentioned prisoners – particularly Number 24 – to keep them in prison in solitary 'order' (in total isolation).  Solitary detention for such long periods of time negatively effects the psyche of prisoners and leads to psychiatric disorders……In connection with the above-mentioned, the Prison Directorate of MVD of the USSR thinks it reasonable not to impose solitary detention on prisoners  with long terms of imprisonment.  I ask you to inform me of your opinion on this subject.

 

At the same time, I ask you to inform me of your agreement to send Prisoner Number XX  to Kazan Prison Psychiatric Hospital MVD USSR for treatment.  Signed: M. Kuznetsov, Head, Prison Directorate.   26 August 1953.

 

The reply to Kuznetsov's letter from Shubniakov, Deputy Head of the 1st Main Directorate MVD, on the 4th of September 1953 is surprising, to say the least:

 

            To Kuznetsov.  RE 34/2/2637 of 26 August 1953. 

 

1.Not against the cancellation of solitary detention for convicts Clement, Pap, Schandl, Meiners and Vadillo and their detention henceforth will be under their real names – with other prisoners also sentenced for long terms of imprisonment.  Doing this, establish such an order that the number of prisoners who know about the detention of the above-mentioned prisoners in Vladimir should be as small as possible…...

 

3.Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani, P.S. kept under guard in Vladimir Prison is unknown to us. (Bolding and underlinings mine.)

 

It should be remembered that the Hungarian prisoners Clement and Schandl had been originally under Abakumov but, in response to Prison Warden Ionov’s protests to their lengthy detentions without moving the case forward – which took place in 1949 -- they were turned over to the 2nd Main Directorate, under Pitovranov, for sentencing in 1950.  Their numbering presumably began with their sentencing, at a point when they were no longer under Abakumov’s control.  Aladjan-Aladjani was numbered while under investigation in 1946, and sentenced by OSO in June of 1947.  He had been at that time under the jurisdiction of the Especially Important Matters Division – i.e., Leonov, et al, deputies of Abakumov.. 

 

The statement that Number 15 'being guarded at Vladimir is unknown to us' would imply a splintering of responsibility and/or deeper levels of secrecy even on the higher levels at 'Central.'  What we must now consider is whether Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani had – temporarily at least -- 'fallen through a crack' generated by the arrest of Abakumov and his deputies in July 1951, the death of Stalin in March 1953 and/or the arrest of Beria and his deputies in June of that year. 

 

While we still do not know the specific charges against Wallenberg, Langfelder and Katona – if they were all numbered at the same time they may well have had the same control.  Thus if Prisoner Number 15 was unknown to the Investigative Unit of the 1st Main Directorate MVD on September 4, 1953, there could have been a 'black out' on this entire series between, say, July 1951 -- when Abakumov and his deputies heading the Investigative Unit of Especially Grave Matters were arrested -- and August 1953. 

 

Ignorance of the existence of a particular Numbered Prisoner in one section of  Central would not prevent his continuing under the appointed prison's regime. Again, it is of utmost importance whether or not the isolated, numbered or long term prisoner had the right to appeal and, psychologically, whether he made use of that power – writing appeals, demanding to communicate with the nachalnik, or simply acting up in a negative way that required a decision from  Central. 

 

Even then, we have the possibility of a 'disappearance within a disappearance', of a temporary crack in the system.  September 23, 1953 Begun, Head of Vladimir Prison, replied to Klemenov as Deputy Head of the Prison Directorate MVD in regard to the second point in Shubniakov's letter:

 

I inform that among numbered prisoners as well as the other contingent of prisoners kept in prison there is no CLEMENT, Tibor.  We ask you to give an order to check this and inform me of the results.    

 

Handwritten across this document is the comment: 'To Comrade Kraiyukin.  He is now in Butyrka and is subject to being sent to Kazan.  28 IX 53.' [ii]  Clement had been transported from Vladimir to Butyrka no earlier than June of the same year.[ii] Handwritten in the margin of this already handwritten memo, someone has inscribed  'Butyrka, Mil.....nowhere!'

 

In the case of Aladzhadzhan we see that in early 1953  -- when he was unknown to the 1st Main Directorate MVD -- he was drawing attention to his warders at Vladimir by refusing to clean latrines.[ii]  But this was a matter that could be decided upon locally.   At the same time, money was being forwarded to Begun on Number 15's behalf by Mironov, still head of Internal Prison MGB, who oversaw the passing of parcels or transfers of money from abroad even after sentenced prisoners went under the MVD.   These funds came from Italy, as did subsequent parcels.  [ii]  Here we have an  instance where those abroad knew of Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani's incarceration under his name, while some of those overseeing his detention as a numbered prisoner or named did not know of him. 

 

                                               

Unresolved Fate and End of Term

 

There is one further point to be made in the Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani analogy which can lend valuable new insight into the circumstances surrounding the Gromyko Memorandum of February 1957 which is the basis for the 1947 alleged death claim.

 

Like Shulgin, Volkov, and Kutepov[ii], Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani was sentenced on June 28, 1947 for Counter-Revolutionary activities according to Articles 54.8 and 54.11.   The three Russians received a term of twenty five years, but Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani's term was for only ten.  This term did not begin from December 19, 1942 when he was first captured in the Verchne-Kovsky Region as a prisoner of war, nor from January 15, 1945 when he first arrived in Moscow.  Rather it begins February 11, 1947.

 

I can find no documents in Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani's file to serve as a reference point for this date.  Therefore I can only comment that on the 13th of February 1947, his Order for Prevention and coupon were issued. [ii] and with it an order from Department A 'Not to give any reports on the prisoner of Lefortovo – Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani, P. S.'[ii]  This order was followed to such a degree that the coupon remains in the file intact.  Ionov has written: 'C' 'Leave it as it is.'   It should be remembered that at the end of February, 1947 both Wallenberg and Roedl were ordered to be transferred from Lefortovo to Lubyanka, Prison but in the end Roedl went alone.  Wallenberg was held back until March 1, 1947.   We consider the possibility that similar steps were being prepared for him to be processed along the lines of Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani.  In short, this marks the point where he was separated from Roedl for the reason that he was to be numbered and sentenced by the Especially Important Matters Unit, while Roedl was to continue under the 4th Department 3rd Main Directorate.   

 

If Wallenberg was to have been sentenced around the same time as Aladzhadzhan-Aladjani and if similar exceptions applied to him, then his term of ten years would have also been counted from that same point – whatever it might have been in his case.  This means that his ten year term would have expired in February/March 1957 or thereabouts – the date of the Gromyko Memorandum upon which the Soviets have based their official claim that Wallenberg was dead.

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

As my essential findings regarding this aspect of my research into the fate of Raoul Wallenberg are presented in my SUMMARY, I will conclude with this note: In our previous hypotheses regarding Wallenberg’s destiny, we have considered the case through the prism of the Cold War.  Usually, for me as an American, this meant seeing Soviet interests as a mirror reflection of my own nation’s attitude toward the USSR, with a dark force separating and obscuring us both.  In this context, Raoul Wallenberg became an icon of the ideals of freedom and human rights thrown, like the Biblical Joseph, into the pit.  As indeed he was.

 

However, to determine Wallenberg’s whereabouts and fate, it is necessary to let go of that icon of perfection – and of the worst case scenario – and start again with an open mind, moving forward step by step through the realities of Eastern Europe at the end of World War II, the realities of the Soviet arrest and investigative process, of the GULAG experience particularly for a foreign prisoner, and of a death there. We do not know enough of the Soviet interests and security concerns in Hungary – or in Scandinavia – to be certain why Wallenberg was seized in January 1945.  Until we do, we are all the more handicapped in our predictions regarding 1947 – forced to work in the manner which I have done, with the only tools afforded us.  These are the decades of eyewitness reports and the documents handed over to us by the Russian side of the Working Group since 1989 which contain direct reference to Wallenberg, studied against selected prisoner files and certain archival registries and records.  Our analysis using data basing has contributed a great deal to our ability to pinpoint with more precision Wallenberg’s presence at given times. 

 

Working in the Russian archives I learned that, to proceed objectively, it is very important to proceed from ‘without’ and ‘within’ – with an emphasis on the latter.  Raoul Wallenberg’s case has been described by the Russians as an ‘exception’, but – until this research – we had no other analogies or real details to even understand the norm.  In my work, I have attempted to define this exception by breaking down Wallenberg’s movements as we know them into different junctures which forced a decision.  On the basis of this, I have projected his fate, using the reality of the norm as a measuring tool against which to evaluate the various eyewitness reports, official or prisoner.  At each juncture, I continue to penetrate further – to grasp the procedures as well as over-riding interests and concerns – which lent ‘urgency’ or ‘importance’ to the decision of what to do with him for the next phase.  Policy was of course an important part of that original determination – but not all.

 

There are a number of such ‘defining moments’: 1) That which transformed Wallenberg’s ‘protective custody’ into long term detention as opposed to a ‘safe conduct’ to Sweden; 2) that which placed him as long term cellmate with Willi Roedl, of the German Embassy in Bucharest; 3) that which separated him from Roedl in early 1947; 4) that which defined Abakumov’s recommendation for disposing of the problem caused by Wallenberg’s illegal detention –  whether because it had been leaked to the international community or because nothing was ‘moving’ in his case; 5) if he lived and was sent away as a numbered prisoner – that which defined any subsequent periods of interrogation or attempts to recruit him for which he was brought back to Moscow; 6) that which determined his sentence – the charges and term; and 7) that which determined whether or not to repatriate him or send him into exile when his term came to an end.  These are, in their way, as pressing realities as diplomatic appeals for clarification of his fate. 

 

It is particularly tragic that a meeting of ‘without’ (international pressure) and ‘within’ (Soviet policy and administrative concerns) never fully occurred to resolve the matter.  Raoul Wallenberg saved lives through real negotiation.  For all the rhetoric, no deal was ever concluded for an exchange, which would indeed imply that those Wallenberg relied upon for his freedom did not care about him.  Still the Soviets had their own obligations.  It is very important to determine whether or not the Soviets had a Swedish spy in place by 1947 as this would have directly influenced Wallenberg’s chances for survival from ‘within.’  This is not a far fetched notion.  The fact is that one or more such spies existed by the time of Beria’s death, that Colonel Stig Wennerstrom was tried and sentenced for this very crime in 1964 and that Wallenberg’s name was mentioned for a possible exchange in 1966.  This is then both a serious  – and sinister – factor which cannot be left out of the equation.

 

In the year 2002 we are at a very important crossroads in the Raoul Wallenberg investigation. The old Cold War fears  – seemingly – are no longer relevant.  A new openness exists which, however, manages to awaken the same fears of ‘rocking the boat.’ I, for one, have had the honor of experiencing Russian cooperation to an unprecedented degree.  But it is not enough if we stop short of the truth.  What I have shared with you in this discussion constitutes – if nothing else – proof that the relevant information exists and that a reconstruction of Wallenberg’s fate can be done.  All the Russians have to do is give us access to the relevant registries and files – and here we speak of the most basic kinds of data related to movements of prisoners, their rations or medical care, whose file appeared in Court that day, financial records which will show whether or not a prisoner under whatever number or name has been drawing upon the currencies approximately equivalent to those acknowledged by the Soviets in 1989 as being Raoul Wallenberg’s.  The examination of death registries in particular times and places is also an essential step. 

 

The fact that this access is not consistent – that exactly at those junctures where we could arrive at a clear-cut yes/no answer a registry is being denied – tells me that the answer may be ‘Yes, Raoul Wallenberg was alive then.’  And that is a very important consideration to those who have affirmed their deepest commitment to resolving this search.  The test then is whether or not the world will prevail upon the Russians to take this final and most courageous step.  Having advanced as far as I did with the support of the Swedish and Russian governments, I have no doubt that the answers are within reach.  Do we want to know?

 

Terror of whatever nightmare lay behind the Iron Curtain may have inhibited the government of Sweden – and the nations who benefited from Wallenberg’s mission – from pressing as they should for his release when there was strong reason to think he was alive.  This is an invalid excuse.  Remember -- the primary witnesses’ testimonies to the Swedes did bring about a reversal over Soviet position in the Fifties – the admission that Wallenberg had been in the Soviet Union. The amnesty that brought about these prisoners’ release and the negotiations that followed took place during one of the most severe times in the Cold War.  So nothing is impossible.

 

The Russians took the unprecedented step of exposing certain portions of their GULAG records to us so that we could initiate a search.  But if those in the West with the power to act on Wallenberg’s behalf do not insist that we move on to the final resolution of this case, then indeed this work will only become an interesting collector’s item of Gulag history and its real intention – to help Raoul Wallenberg and his family – will remain unfulfilled. 

 

I am asking those who read this to let go of their fascination with the mystery that caused Raoul Wallenberg – rescuer of 100,000 Jews -- great suffering and collectively affirm our responsibility in this matter.  The truth must be known and shared.  To allow a man’s existence to be erased – whether he lives on or not -- is indeed to ‘liquidate’ him and separate him from the world he loves.