'All Signs Indicate that Gestapo Agents Murdered Him': Soviet Disinformation, the Katyn massacre and the Raoul Wallenberg Case, 1945-7
2016 (English)In: International History Review, ISSN 0707-5332, E-ISSN 1949-6540, Vol. 38, no 1, 148-173 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
In the years 1945-52, that is, between Raoul Wallenberg's incarceration in the Lubianka prison in Moscow (6 February 1945) and the first Swedish demand for his return (11 February 1952), more than fifty people provided the Swedish Foreign Ministry with diffuse and often contradictory information about his whereabouts. This article argues that a number of these testimonies may have been part of a Soviet campaign of disinformation aimed at diverting the Swedes' attention away from Moscow and to have them believe that Wallenberg had died in Hungary. The appearance of messages to this effect by February-March 1945 may indicate that the Soviets had already decided at this early point never to let Wallenberg return alive, or at least to construct an option that would allow for such a decision. In August 1947, after twenty-six Swedish diplomatic approaches on account of Wallenberg over the course of two and a half years, the Soviets handed over a note signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Vyshinskii that declared that Wallenberg had presumably died in Hungary. The note had the desired effect. No Swedish diplomatic approaches on Wallenberg were made for the next five years. This article argues that the Vyshinskii note was an extraordinary measure taken by the Soviets finally to get the message of Wallenberg's death in Hungary through to the Swedes. The Soviet disinformation regarding the 1940 Katyn massacre provides an interesting point of reference for understanding the way in which the Soviets tried to mislead Sweden over Wallenberg.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 38, no 1, 148-173 p.
USSR, Raoul Wallenberg, Katyn, disinformation, Cold War
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-274426DOI: 10.1080/07075332.2015.1016994ISI: 000366656500008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-274426DiVA: diva2:896539