The Russian government turned over to the country's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar crucial documents dealing with the case of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, the Associated Press reported last week.
Questions over Wallenberg's death have long gone unanswered and many speculate that after being arrested by Soviet forces in 1945, he was murdered under orders by secret police.
According to the AP report, Nikolai Patrushev, director of the Federal Security Service, the successor agency to the notorious KGB, handed to the rabbi photographs and copies of formerly classified materials about Wallenberg. The Federation of Jewish Communities of the Former Soviet Union, whose activities are overseen by Lazar, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi, had requested the documents in connection with its new Museum of Tolerance, set to open in Moscow next year.
During World War II, Wallenberg distributed Swedish passports to Jews who were being deported and won diplomatic protection for sections of Budapest. The Russian government said that he died of a heart attack in 1947 while in prison, but his family and others maintain that he was executed.