Raoul was born August 4, 1912 in Lidingö, Sweden. His parents, who had married in 1911, were Raoul Oscar Wallenberg (see Notes) and Maria "Maj" Sofia Wising (see Notes). His stepfather was Fredrik von Dardel, who married Raoul's widowed mother in 1918.
The circumstances and date of Raoul's death vary greatly by numerous statements. The only certainty is that he was arrested by the Soviets January 17, 1945 in Budapest, Hungary on charges of having spied for the United States and was apparently held in Lubyanka for the rest of his life.
A March 8, 1945 broadcast by a Soviet-controlled Hungarian radio station said that he and his driver were murdered in Hungary.
February 6, 1957 the Soviet government released a document dated 17 July 1947 written by the head of the Lubyanka prison infirmary, addressed to the Soviet minister of state security, stating that "the prisoner Wallenberg who is well-known to you, died suddenly in his cell this night, probably as a result of a heart attack or heart failure". This is the basis for that being Raoul's date of death.
In 1989, Soviet officials said they found Wallenberg's personal belongings when they were upgrading the shelves in a store room and returned them to his family.
In 1991, a Russian government investigation of Wallenberg's fate concluded that he died in 1947, executed while a prisoner in Lubyanka or a victim of C-2 poison then being tested on prisoners.
Several people have testified to having seen Wallenberg in prison as late as 1987 and some Russian officials have stated that he was alive as late as the 1970's.
First his parents, then following their deaths, his half-brother and half-sister never gave up trying to determine what happened to Raoul and when he died.
Raoul's father, Raoul Oscar Wallenberg, a Swedish naval officer, was born in 1888 and died of cancer in 1912, three months before Raoul's birth. His father was Gustaf Wallenberg, a diplomat and envoy to Tokyo, Istanbul and Sofia.
Raoul's mother, Maria "Maj" Sofia Wising, was born in 1891 and died in 1979. Her parents were professor Per Johan Wising, who died of pneumonia three months after Raoul's birth, and Sophie Wising. After Raoul's mother married Fredrik von Dardel in 1918, they had two children. Raoul's half-siblings were Guy von Dardel and Nina (von Dardel) Lagergren.