CIA says Wallenberg acted for US

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The Independent Online
THE CIA has admitted what Sweden has known for decades: that Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved up to 20,000 Hungarian Jews, was working not for Sweden but for an agency of the US government.

But it stopped short of admitting that Wallenberg was recruited and paid by an agent of the precursor to the CIA.

The declassified CIA report, written 12 years ago, said Wallenberg was paid by and taking orders from the US War Refugee Board. In an admission of partial US responsibility for his disappearance in 1945 and near-certain subsequent death, it added that the board's 'clandestine character . . . could have aroused Soviet suspicions and led to his disappearance'.

Wallenberg, working under cover as a Swedish diplomat, joined the Swedish legation in Budapest in 1944 and disappeared the following year.

Sources connected to events at the time say he was in fact recruited by Arthur Goldberg, then a head of department in the Office of Strategic Services, which was later disbanded and replaced by the CIA. Mr Goldberg dealt with political infiltration of Germany and Eastern Europe.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry said yesterday the CIA report was 'nothing new and nothing very remarkable'.

Visitors to the Holocaust museum in Washington also know Wallenberg worked for the US Refugee Board. A thin volume entitled Raoul Wallenberg: Missing Diplomat, classified by the US Library of Congress as 'juvenile literature', states: 'His diplomatic papers were false anyway. He was really on assignment for the American War Refugee Board,' adding 'the board sent a man to Sweden to hire someone to initiate a Hungarian rescue effort.'

Swedish diplomats have heard testimony from Russian sources that Wallenberg was shot in a Soviet prison in 1947. 'That's just one report,' said a Swedish official. 'We don't know if he is alive or dead.' Had he survived, Mr Wallenberg would have been 81 last August.

(Photograph omitted)