Saturday, July 6, 2019

An Unsolved WW 2 Mystery




It wasn't there two years ago when I visited the spot. 
I  went nearer to contemplate it. No inscription. So, for a change, that was no memorial of some kind,  just an environmental exibit made of stone and marble. Beautiful. 
Behind it,  a bakery/ coffee shop with chairs and tables outside. There were no customers because of the heat. I couldn"t even take some decent pictures because of the strong sun.


face and back (identical) of the exhibit


sides (identical) of the exhibit

empty chairs at the coffee shop

At the far end of the street, however, there was the monument dedicated to the swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who had rescued thousands of people (mostly hungarian jews)  from the Holocaust. The street was named after him: a long, busy street in a respectable, high-tech tel avivian neighborhood called 'Atidim' ('Futures').


statue with face overlooking  Raoul Wallenberg street


Nearby, a beautiful park with a lot of facilities.  (There is a park on the opposite side of the street too).

park (toilets)

The monument (unveiled in June 2002)  looked rather gloomy. The diplomat's fate was also gloomy. 74 years after his disappearance in 1945, and nobody knows for sure what has happened to him.


jogger from the park approaching the back of the statue

monument seen from across the street

Many cities in the world (New York, Budapest, London, Buenos Aires,) have erected statues in his memory. However, little was done by the world to search for him. It was convenient for them all to  accept the theory  that he had died in a soviet prison.

Only two swedish women - his sister Nina and his niece Nane Annan (the wife of Kofi Annan , the african  from Ghana,  former UN general secretary) spared no effort to try and find the truth. Apparently with no success. ׂ(his half brother Guy van Dardel and   two US - based researchers should also be mentioned).
His disappearance in January 1945, remains one of the unsolved mysteries of World War 2.



39 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! I did not know about this mystery, but now I want to learn more. I googled Raoul Wallenberg and see there are quite a few movies about it. I will try to find out more about this. Thank you for this post.

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    1. Thank you.
      I'm glad you googled, as it's an interesting subject and a blog post doesn't do it justice.

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  2. There were so many individual and collective heroes in WW1 and WW2, even whole cities as heroes and countries. I always thought those heroes were the product of the upbringing, they were raised not to be soft and irresponsible, people don't raise kids like that these days, sadly. I often think if we were to have another WW these days, God forbid, it would be an example of cowardice and cruelty not of heroism. Even the books for youngsters from USA that I often translate for the readers, teach kids to be selfish and think of themselves, not to be selfless heroes. But of course, that egocentric selfishness has always been an American national trait :)

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    1. "..product of the upbringing.." - how true! I agree with you about education nowadays. It's a very sad picture. That's why I've lost my optimism, and believe the world is going to end up like Chernobyl - no humans (except tourists), only wildlife.

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  3. Fascinating - I had not heard of him. I, naturally, googled him and see that he was apparently still alive in 1947.

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    1. You did the right thing, googling. I couldn't even take a picture of the front of the statue as one has to stand on the road to do that, and it's a very busy one. On the Web you can see a clear picture of Wallenberg's face.

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  4. His final fate may remain a mystery, Duta, but there is no doubt that he was one if the great figures of history. It took tremendous courage to do what he did, and it is easy to forget the fact that he risked his own life every day. I am glad to see that he is remembered by this monument at least, so that people can reflect back on his strength and his example to the world. It is repugnant that there are people who deny the Shoah ever happened.

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    1. I totally agree with every word in your comment. He was a great man who daily risked his life to save others.

      He issued thousands of temporary swedish passports to hungarian jews to enable them to escape the Nazi hunt.
      I'm glad of the location of his monument, a visible spot where he can be remembered by many, both israelis and tourists.

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  5. Maybe he wanted to go away and be someone else.

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    1. Oh, Sandi - you've got a rich imagination!
      There are, I think, two main options: the soviets or the nazis. The first accused him of espionage, the last probably got a tip about his passports and put their hands on him.

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  6. Learned something new today Duta. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. You're welcome. While writing the post, I also learnt a few new things. I didn't know, for example, that Kofi Annan, the former UN general secretary, died last year, I didn't know Wallenberg is called "the hero without a grave" and some other more or less important facts.

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  7. Thank you, Duta. I got something new from reading this post.

    Have a wonderful week end!

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    1. Hi Evi, thanks for stopping by.
      Have a wonderful week, too!

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  8. Replies
    1. Very sad indeed. If it happened to him it could easily happen to anyone as he was a diplomat representing a neutral country (Sweden) and belonged to a rich and very respectable family with connections worldwide.

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  9. Those are very interesting informations, it was good to read it, have a lovely week:)

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    1. Events like that one never cease to be interesting. 74 years, and clues that led nowhere.
      Have a lovely week too!

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  10. Some skulduggery here, there’s no doubt about that. we will probably never know what happened. Good of you to remind us of him.

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    1. He's reminded not only by monuments; also by prizes on his name, books, movies etc..If only the russians, the germans, and the hungarians, would make a joint effort to search the relevant archives!

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  11. Interesting post ! Instead of creating statues and memorials, it would be better to stop all wars in the world and not look in the past but what we have today going on ! Nobody has learned anything from the past ! Wars, cruelty, concentration camps still exists !! and still continues !

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    1. Maybe, in an utopian world there will be no wars and cruelty. This world is, sadly, doomed.

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  12. That such a man would disappear with no search for him is utter tragedy. What he did in such a tenuous position shows him to be a man of conviction. Generations that followed their parents should rise up and call him hero.

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    1. His disappearance was during the chaos of the immediate post-war days.
      In the years to follow, there should have been strong pressure on the russians to open their archives and tell the truth. It probably didn't happen.

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  13. It is a mystery indeed and, as with so many things in the past, the passage of time aids those who seek to cover up.

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    1. Exactly. Sad but true. Time here is not in favor of those seeking the truth. His family's gone. As far as it's known,there are mainly 2-US based researchers that focus on his case and try to involve Sweden and Russia.

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  14. Never heard of this thank you for sharing.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Sometimes things are not known because of the geography. You live in the USA, the mystery case happened in Europe. It's also a generation matter. Young people driving daily on the road named R.Wallenberger may even not know who's behind the name.

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  15. Hi Duta, I'm coming back to visit you :)

    Happy Monday

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    1. Thanks for the re-visit. You're always welcome.

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  16. What a remarkable man. His story always inspires me. How very sad that he was never found. Thank you for sharing this and his monuments. We must never forget.

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    1. Remarkable, indeed. Not many people will take such risks to save others. Not then, and not now. There's always some hope that archive will provide the answer.

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  17. Although he was never found in person, he still lives on via his inspiring story, which is even more inspirational because of the unknown fate of his body.

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    1. True. He continues to be on our minds through his story, the memorials,the prizes, museums, ceremonies etc.
      He'll always be an inspirational figure.

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  18. There are many mysteries from war time, I'm sure.

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    1. Yes, there are.
      This one, however, is one of the most striking mysteries as it involves a diplomat of a neutral country (Swiss),from a prominent family with connections.

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  19. What a mystery. And horrible fate for a hero. In response to your comment, we'd love to move closer to our favorite places, but my husband loves his job.

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    1. The worst thing is the unknown. We have a somewhat similar case of a pilot who disappeared on a military mission in Oct 1986(33 years ago).Since then, despite the huge efforts, no conclusive info on his whereabouts.
      Tks for answering my question regarding your favorite places.

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  20. Yes, I too learned something new today.
    I also agree with David Gascoigne's thoughts/comment above.

    All the best Jan

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