Information disclosed last week suggesting that Soviet authorities may have interrogated Raoul Wallenberg six days after his reported execution in 1947 has revived the search to learn the heroic Swedish diplomat’s fate.
“If that information is true, it’s a miracle,” said Rachel Oestreicher Bernheim, chairman emeritus of the Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States. “We have never given up finding out what happened to him. We have never put a nail in Wallenberg’s coffin.”
A leading Jewish organization is urging the U.S. government to immediately pressure Russia to help resolve the longtime mystery of Raoul Wallenberg’s disappearance.
Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat employed by the U.S. War Refugee Board, saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis during World War II and was last seen being taken into custody by the Soviet Union on Jan. 17, 1945.
Fort Dix, N.J.: The residents who traverse the blue cinderblock wall hallways, decorated only by stenciled warnings not to loiter and to "keep your hands out of pockets," are focused on two things: getting through each day and the date they will be released.
But on a recent Monday afternoon, two dozen men in dun-colored uniforms are bent over worksheets on their desks in a pair of windowless rooms at the Midstate Correctional Facility here focusing on something larger than themselves: the heroes in their lives.
Bengt Olander, a Swede from Gothenburg, had an early education about Raoul Wallenberg, Sweden's hero from the Holocaust.
At 7, visiting his grandmother's apartment every day, Olander met a Hungarian woman, one of several refugees from Hungary his grandmother housed after the 1956 Revolution. He noticed something unusual about the woman.
"She always looked so sad," Olander recalled.
He asked why. She told him she was a Jew who had almost died during the Holocaust.
In Olympic years, some People of the Book become people of the backstroke, the clean-and-jerk, and the high hurdles.
The Games, Summer and Winter, serve as a showcase for the best athletes, Jewish and non-Jewish. From A (Ruth Abeles) to Z (Eli Zuckerman), names like Mark Spitz and Kerry Strug are in the record books as well as Jewish history texts.
Beginning with 10 medals won by Jewish athletes at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, Jews have been a steady presence at the international competition.