Sunday, March 1, 2009


Today's Wall Street Journal has a story about the continuing search by the family of Raoul Wallenberg for answers into what happened to him near the end of World War II.

Here's what is known - or surmised - as chronicled in Wikipedia:

Raoul Wallenberg (August 4, 1912 – July 17, 1947?) was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest, Hungary during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. Between July and December of 1944, he issued protective passports and housed Jews, saving tens of thousands of Jewish lives.

His death has long been a source of dispute. On January 17, 1945, he was arrested by the Soviets after they wrested control of the city from the Nazis, and was reported to have died in March. In 1957, the Soviets announced that Wallenberg had actually died of a heart attack in 1947.

In 1991, Vyacheslav Nikonov was assigned by the Russian government to find out the truth, concluding that Wallenberg did indeed die in 1947, but by execution. However, a 2001 Swedish report said: "There is no fully reliable proof of what happened to Raoul Wallenberg".

It's well known that the tele-versions of real people can be idealized; just look at Ryan White's mom and H. Ross Perot (NOT the Skitlandian version!) for confirmation of that. And Raoul Wallenberg is no exception.

Based on his real photo, I'd say Joey Bishop would have been a better choice than Richard Chamberlain for playing him....


Toby O'B

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