My work on Raoul Wallenberg has concentrated on his mission to Budapest rather than on his subsequent fate in Russia. I have chosen to examine various assertions, claims and plain simple innuendo to the effect that this mission may have involved other than purely humanitarian goals. In particular, I have looked both at possible connections with various secret services – not simply the OSS- and at possible hidden economic motives. As a result, I have investigated in some detail a string of peripheral3 figures, many of whom are hardly mentioned in more orthodox presentations of Raoul’s mission. Although I have found nothing to suggest that he acted as an important secret agent with a task radically different from his explicit humanitarian mission to aid the Jews in Hungary, I have unearthed substantial archival evidence showing that he did have interesting contacts with several people who were working for the secret services- Cheshire in Stockholm and Lolle Smit in Budapest – are two fascinating examples. But is this really surprising? As I have had occasion to remark on numerous occasions, it would have been impossible for any neutral businessmen to travel about wartime Europe without contacts with at least one secret service and more probably with several.
Hermann Grosheim-Krisko was employed as a Russian translator by the Swedish Legation in Budapest in 1944 and given a false identity as the Norwegian , “Henry Thomsen” . When the Red Army occupied Budapest, Grosheim-Krisko, like Raoul Wallenberg, was arrested by Smersh,sent to Moscow and accused of anti-Soviet activities and espionage. Unlike Wallenberg ,however, he was eventually released in 1953and turned up in due course in Stockholm where he provided the Swedes with further information while simultaneously claiming financial compensation for his years in Soviet custody. On the basis of an old file in Auswärtiges Amts Archive, new light is shed on Grosheim-Krisko’s family and background prior to his wartime years in Budapest.
In discussions about Raoul Wallenberg’s mission to Budapest, Michael Kutuzov-Tolstoy has acquired a dubious reputation. But there can be no doubt whatsoever. It was Kutuzov-Tolstoy and no-one else who was given the official task of making the first contact on behalf of the Swedish Legation in Budapest with the Red Army.