Some 71 years after he disappeared in circumstances that remain murky to this day, the World War II hero known as the “Swedish Schindler” has finally been declared dead, Newser reports.
Raoul Wallenberg, a diplomat who was sent to Budapest, Hungary, in July of 1944, saved at least 20,000 Jews from the Holocaust by giving them Swedish passports. He was arrested by the Red Army in early 1945 after the city was occupied by the Soviets. The Soviets announced in 1957 that Wallenberg, who was 32 when he vanished, had died of heart failure in a Moscow prison in 1947, though uncertainty over his fate lingered for decades. His heartbroken mother and stepfather took their own lives in 1979.
Swedish authorities say that after an application from a representative of the family, they declared his date of death to be July 31, 1952. “This date is purely formal. Legally, we must choose a date at least five years after his disappearance, and there were signs of life until the end of July 1947,” an official from the country’s tax authority tells AFP.