Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews to escape the Nazis during the Holocaust, has been formally pronounced dead by Sweden’s Tax Agency, 71 years after he disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviets for espionage suspicions in Hungary in 1945 and later disappeared. There have been various accounts regarding his fate, and he is thought to have died in a Soviet prison, but his exact fate remains a mystery, reports Worldisraelnews.com.
The New York Times in August ran a full report documenting the accounts and Wallenberg’s supposed whereabouts, and concluded that he was shot by the Soviets in 1947.
Thousands of Jews escaped deportation to Auschwitz after Wallenberg gave them Swedish protective passes.
His family has spent decades trying to establish what actually happened to him. Last November they called on the Swedish Tax Agency to officially declare him dead. The request was made via Sweden’s SEB Bank, acting as a trustee.
“He shall be deemed to have died 31 July, 1952,” the Tax Agency stated.
A tax agency official explained that date was chosen because it fell “five years after he went missing, which was believed to be the end of July, 1947”.
This procedure complies with a Swedish law applied in cases where the circumstances of death are not clear.
His family requested that he be declared dead officially, in order to “let Raoul rest in peace”.