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Russian Court to Hear Wallenberg Case


FILE - Swedish diplomat and World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg, is shown in this undated photo. (AP photo/Pressens Bild)

A court in Moscow is preparing to hear arguments from the family of Raoul Wallenberg in a case against Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB.

The former Swedish diplomat has been credited with saving thousands of Jews during World War II.

A lawyer for his family says the court will hear the arguments on August 17. The family is asking the FSB to provide documentation that could help prove what happened to Wallenberg at the end of the war.

“We feared we will encounter resistance from the court in the adoption of the claim given that in recent decades,” Russian state agencies have invented reasons not to provide information on this case, lawyer Ivan Pavlov said on August 10.

Raoul Wallenberg served as a diplomat in German-occupied Hungary during World War II. He led an effort that saved the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews.

The Soviet Union took control of Hungary from German forces as the war came to a close. Soviet forces captured Wallenberg in 1945. He later died in prison, although details of his death are unclear.

Russia has only said that Wallenberg died in 1947 in Moscow's Lubyanka prison. At the time, the prison was operating under the KGB, the main security agency for the Soviet Union.

The FSB replaced the KGB after the break-up of the country in 1991.

Soviet officials, and later Russia, claimed the then-35-year-old Swede died of a heart attack. Wallenberg’s family, Swedish officials, and others have disputed that claim.

Marie Dupuy, Wallenberg’s niece, said on July 26 that she had asked the Russian legal organization Team 29 to bring the case to court. "Numerous requests to Russian authorities over many years, publicly and privately, by myself, by expert historians, and Swedish officials, have failed to yield any results," she said.

Dupuy claimed Russian records contained documents with direct relevance to Wallenberg's condition. But she said his family and independent experts have not been permitted to examine the documents.

"As soon as [August 17], we will clarify the position of the FSB, which has not commented on this case in any way, and we will find out what we are going to face in court," Pavlov said.

I’m John Russell.

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reported this story. George Grow adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

adoption – n. the process of giving official approval of something

decaden. a period of 10 years

niecen. a daughter of one’s brother or sister

relevance – n. relation to the issue under consideration

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