A Step Closer to Solving a Family Mystery?

A dear friend and champion of my book sent me an article this week from the New York Times written by Neil MacFarquhar, From a Dacha Wall, A Clue to Raoul Wallenberg’s Cold War Fate. Could it shed some light on the fate of two members of my father’s family, who did not survive the move to the Soviet Union?

The article discussed the mysterious disappearance of a Swedish diplomat who had assisted thousands of Hungarian Jews from being sent to Auschwitz. It had long been suspected that Raoul Wallenberg had been abducted by the Soviets somewhere near Budapest. That sounded like a sad but familiar family tale to me.

Like one of my father’s siblings, Mr. Wallenberg died in a Soviet prison, and the circumstances surrounding his death have also been unknown. A recent book has been published called  “Notes From a Suitcase: Secret Diaries of the First K.G.B. Chairman, Found Over 25 Years After His Death.” These diaries were found in the wall of a cottage owned by the granddaughter of the agent and allegedly explain why Wallenberg was arrested.

The New York Times article quoted a retired Swedish diplomat, Hans Mangnusson that “there should have been a personal prisoner file which was created for every prisoner.” As my children would say, “Duh!” (obviously!)

I was quite excited to read this article, thinking that perhaps this book could shed some light on what happened to my father’s family. I tried in vain to locate the book and finally contacted the NYT writer, who informed me that the book has not been translated and he believes there are no immediate plans to publish it outside of Russia.

So the mystery continues unanswered.

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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2 Responses to A Step Closer to Solving a Family Mystery?

  1. JUDY CARMICK says:

    Is tackling the Russian language your next objective?

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