posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 05:31 PM
Did you guys catch this article on Y! today?
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Budapest, November 1944: Another German train has loaded its cargo of Jews bound for Auschwitz. A young Swedish diplomat pushes
past the SS guard and scrambles onto the roof of a cattle car.
Ignoring shots fired over his head, he reaches through the open door to outstretched hands, passing out dozens of bogus "passports" that extended
Sweden's protection to the bearers. He orders everyone with a document off the train and into his caravan of vehicles. The guards look on,
Raoul Wallenberg was a minor official of a neutral country, with an unimposing appearance and gentle manner. Recruited and financed by the U.S., he
was sent into Hungary to save Jews. He bullied, bluffed and bribed powerful Nazis to prevent the deportation of 20,000 Hungarian Jews to concentration
camps, and averted the massacre of 70,000 more people in Budapest's ghetto by threatening to have the Nazi commander hanged as a war criminal.
Then, on Jan. 17, 1945, days after the Soviets moved into Budapest, the 32-year-old Wallenberg and his Hungarian driver, Vilmos Langfelder, drove off
under a Russian security escort, and vanished forever.
And because he was a rare flicker of humanity in the man-made hell of the Holocaust, the world has celebrated him ever since. Streets have been named
after him and his face has been on postage stamps. And researchers have wrestled with two enduring mysteries: Why was Wallenberg arrested, and did he
really die in Soviet custody in 1947?
Researchers have sifted through hundreds of purported sightings of Wallenberg into the 1980s, right down to plotting his movements from cell to cell
while in custody. And fresh documents are to become public which might cast light on another puzzle: Whether Wallenberg was connected, directly or
indirectly, to a super-secret wartime U.S. intelligence agency known as "the Pond," operating as World War II was drawing to a close and the Soviets
were growing increasingly suspicious of Western intentions in eastern Europe.
Speculation that Wallenberg was engaged in espionage has been rife since the Central Intelligence Agency acknowledged in the 1990s that he had been
recruited for his rescue mission by an agent of the Office of Strategic Services, the OSS, which later became the CIA.
About the Pond, little is known. But later this year the CIA is to release a stash of Pond-related papers accidentally discovered in a Virginia barn
in 2001. These are the papers of John Grombach, who headed the Pond from its creation in 1942. CIA officials say they should be turned over to the
National Archives in College Park, Md.
In February, the Swedish government posted an online database of 1,000 documents and testimonies related to Wallenberg's disappearance. In a few
months, independent investigators plan to launch a Web site with their nearly 20-year research into Russian archives and prison records. Russia is
building a Museum of Tolerance that will feature once-classified documents on Wallenberg. And the CIA last year relaxed its guidelines to reveal
details of its sources and intelligence-gathering methods in the case.
Despite dozens of books and hundreds of documents on Wallenberg, much remains hidden. The Kremlin has failed to find or deliver dozens of files,
Sweden has declined to open all its books, and The Associated Press has learned as many as 100,000 pages of declassified OSS documents await
processing at the National Archives.
[edit on 28-4-2008 by r32adt3db]