Declared a Righteous Among the Gentiles for saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews in Budapest during the Holocaust, Wallenberg disappeared after being arrested in early 1945. He is believed to have been imprisoned by the Soviet regime that had seized control of Eastern Europe after the war.
In recently found memoirs published this year, the first head of the KGB, Ivan Serov, claimed that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had ordered Wallenberg's execution. “I have no doubt that he [Wallenberg] was executed in 1947,” Serov wrote. He, however, was unable to find conclusive evidence as to his fate.
Under pressure from Sweden and the international community, the Soviets in 1957 released a document allegedly proving that Wallenberg died on July 16, 1947, in his cell in Lubyanka prison.
The Swedish Tax Agency, which is responsible for documenting births and deaths, set his death date as July 31, 1952 since according to Swedish law, the date of a person's death is set at five years from the date of his disappearance.