Skymning over Budapest
A new book suggests Raoul Wallenberg supplied Hungarians with weapons. During his work saving Jews, Raoul Wallenberg supplied the resistance movement in Hungary with weapons in 1944, which may have been a cause for his arrest by the Soviets in 1945. New puzzle pieces shed light over Wallenberg’s fight to save the Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust in 1944-1945. That he had a huge network of contacts in the most diverse of circles is already known, and Hungarian-Swede Gellert Kovacs says Wallenberg’s many networks and contacts with the civil and non-Communist resistance movement made him particularly suspicious in the eyes of Soviets. The Swedish diplomats Per Anger and Raoul Wallenberg also procured a radio transmitter to a resistance group that guided British bombers. According to Kovacs, Wallenberg had received documentation of a Soviet massacre of 4000 Polish officers in Katyn in 1940. “All this may have added to him being arrested by Soviet,” Kovacs says. “To know about Soviet war crimes was equal to a death sentence.”
But in the new book “Skymning över Budapest” (Twilight over Budapest), Gellert Kovacs writes that Wallenberg also supplied the Hungarian Jews with weapons. During his humanitarian and increasingly risky mission in Hungary, Embassy Secretary Raoul Wallenberg made use of his military background. As a draftee sergeant and platoon leader in the Swedish home guard, he had led his men in urban warfare in the Stockholm area. On location in the more and more chaotic Budapest during the late fall of 1944, Wallenberg came in contact with the newly founded Hungarian home guard, Kiska. Officially, the troops were to protect the capital, but parts of them participated, in secret, in the resistance against the Germans occupiers, the SS, and the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross Party. Soldiers from the home guard units also guarded several of the Swedish houses, where Jews, who had received protective Swedish passports, were staying.

Previously unknown testimony
That Wallenberg also supplied them with some of their weapons is made clear with a previously unknown testimony.
Ference Kálmánffy, an aide-de-camp in the home guard, tells of a meeting during which Wallenberg offered the home guard protective Swedish passports to hand out to those persecuted as well as “money with which to buy weapons and supplies.” In return, Wallenberg wanted military help “whenever needed." The meeting came to an end when Wallenberg, obviously showing he was serious, asked the Hungarians to send down two soldiers to retrieve two boxes from his car. “When the soldiers came back with the boxes and we opened them, it turned out there were hand grenades, pistols and machine guns inside,” Kálmánffy remembers.
“The home guard was lacking in weapons, they were old and of different types. Therefore Wallenberg’s weapons were badly needed. It was not just Wallenberg’s aura but sheer military power that made the Arrow Crossers not attack the houses with the Jews inside. In my mind Wallenberg was a hero," Kovacs says. "But he also had different networks around himself that made it possible to save so many lives.”


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Film clip from the 2012 Raoul Wallenberg exhibition