World's most wanted Nazi arrested in Hungary

Hungarian authorities detained, grilled and put under house arrest on Wednesday a 97-year-old who tops the Simon Wiesenthal Center's dwindling wanted-list of suspected Nazi war criminals.

Laszlo Csatary, accused by the Wiesenthal Center of organising the World War II deportation to their deaths of some 16,000 Jews from the ghetto of Kosice in present-day Slovakia, however protested his innocence.

"Our viewpoint is that at this age, being under house arrest is already quite a shock," state prosecutor Tibor Ibolya said. "We have to make sure that this man remains alive and is able to stand trial."

"One of his arguments in his defence is that he was obeying orders."

Clutching a plastic bag, dressed in a grey jacket and surprisingly sprightly for his age, the former senior police officer said nothing as he was whisked away in a car by two friends or relatives.

This followed his early-morning arrest in the Hungarian capital Budapest and several hours of questioning by an investigating magistrate at a military prosecution office.

"The suspect is in good physical and mental health. He is being cooperative. He was surprised (about being arrested) but he expected to be questioned," Ibolya said.

Csatary, full name Laszlo Csizsik-Csatary, helped run the Jewish ghetto in Kosice, a town now in Slovakia that was visited in April 1944 by Adolf Eichmann, a key figure in the Nazis' Final Solution, the Wiesenthal Center says.

While there between 1941 and 1944, Csatary beat and brutalized Jews and sent 16,000 to their deaths in Ukraine and to the gas chambers at the Auschwitz extermination camp, it says.

In 1948, a Czechoslovakian court condemned Csatary to death in absentia but he made it to Canada where he lived and worked as an art dealer before being stripped of his citizenship there in the 1990s.

He ended up in Budapest where he has lived freely ever since, until the Wiesenthal Center alerted Hungarian authorities last year.

British tabloid The Sun raised attention to his case with a report at the weekend after tracking down the old man, photographing him and confronting him at his front door.

Acting on the information provided by the Wiesenthal Center, which was supplemented by fresh evidence last week, prosecutors began an investigation in September.

Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter, welcomed the arrest and urged Hungarian authorities "to complete the rest of the judicial process and bring Csatary to justice as quickly as possible."

He said: "This is the debt owed to his many victims who were tortured and sent to be murdered at Auschwitz. The passage of time does not diminish the guilt of the killers and old age should not afford protection to the perpetrators of Holocaust crimes."

The fact that Csatary lived freely in Hungary for some 15 years and the lack of progress by prosecutors also added to worries about the direction of the EU member state under right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Almost exactly a year ago, a court in Budapest acquitted Hungarian Sandor Kepiro, 97, of charges of ordering the execution of over 30 Jews and Serbs in the Serbian town of Novi Sad in January 1942.

The Wiesenthal Center, which had also listed Kepiro as the most wanted Nazi war criminal and helped bring him to court, described the verdict as an "outrageous miscarriage of justice." Six weeks later Kepiro died.

Recent months, meanwhile, have seen something of a public rehabilitation of controversial figures, most notably of Miklos Horthy, Hungary's dictator from 1920 until 1944 when he fell out with his erstwhile ally Adolf Hitler.

Anti-Semitic writers like Albert Wass and Jozsef Nyiro, a keen supporter of the brutal Arrow Cross regime installed in power by the Nazis in 1944, have also been reintroduced into the curriculum for schools, meanwhile.

The decision by the speaker of the Hungarian parliament, Orban ally Laszlo Kover, to attend a ceremony in May honouring Nyiro, prompted Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel to return Hungary's highest honour in disgust.

Holocaust survivor Wiesel, 83, said "it has become increasingly clear that Hungarian authorities are encouraging the white-washing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungary's past."

A far-right website meanwhile posted photos of several dozen "anti-Hungarian" Jews" who gathered on Monday outside Csatary's flat calling for his arrest, offering a reward for information on the protestors.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive
    Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he made one last appeal to the Indonesian government to spare a Filipina among nine prisoners set to be executed for drug trafficking on Tuesday as she could be a vital witness in prosecuting drug syndicates. It was Aquino's third personal appeal, after the Indonesian attorney general rejected the Philippines' request on Monday for a second judicial review of the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who her lawyers say merely served as an unknowing mule to drug …

  • Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000
    Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000

    Are you hunting for an affordable motorcycle which you can use for personal use or a family service vehicle? Carmudi PH presents to you some of the cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines today. These budget friendly motorbikes will surely not hurt your pockets, and you may even buy them on the spot instead of monthly […] The post Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000 appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief
    Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief

    Indonesia made final preparations Tuesday to execute eight foreigners by firing squad, as family members wailed in grief during last visits to their loved ones and ambulances carrying white coffins arrived at the drug convicts' prison. Relatives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the Australian ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin trafficking group, arrived at Nusakambangan prison calling for mercy for their loved ones, with Sukumaran's sister collapsing in grief. They are among …

  • Labor Day heat index may heat feverish levels

    Temperatures could soar on Labor Day this Friday, with the "init factor" reaching the 40°C level in some areas of the country. Labor Day is a holiday in the Philippines, though many Filipinos are expected to go out to the streets to call for better working conditions. The so-called "init factor" or "heat index" gives the apparent temperature, taking into account the actual air temperature as well as other factors such as humidity. State weather agency PAGASA's Tuesday heat index indicated …

  • How Indonesia executes death row inmates
    How Indonesia executes death row inmates

    Indonesia is expected to soon execute by firing squad a group of nine convicts, most of them foreigners, for drug offences on the prison island of Nusakambangan in Central Java. The executions, which will be the second round under President Joko Widodo, have drawn international criticism and sparked diplomatic tensions with Australia, the Philippines, Nigeria and Brazil, which have nationals on death row. The group also includes a citizen from Indonesia. Recruits for the firing squad are …

  • Nine await mass execution in Indonesia, as foreign hopes for reprieve fade
    Nine await mass execution in Indonesia, as foreign hopes for reprieve fade

    By Kanupriya Kapoor CILACAP, Indonesia (Reuters) - Nine drug traffickers met their families for what could be the final time at an Indonesian maximum security prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected international pleas for clemency and ordered their mass execution to proceed, possibly within hours. The death penalties imposed on eight foreigners and an Indonesian have been condemned by the United Nations, and strained ties between neighbours Australia and Indonesia. "We're hoping for a …

  • Isuzu PH announces new President
    Isuzu PH announces new President

    Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) formally announced the appointment of Hajime Koso as the new president replacing outgoing president Nobuo Izumina, who will be assigned as the Director of Isuzu Body Corporation, an affiliate of Isuzu Motors Limited (IML) in Japan. A native of Okayama Japan, the 57 years old executive has been working for IML for 35 […] The post Isuzu PH announces new President appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather
    Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather

    Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is confident he can beat American arch-rival Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday with the power of God, after abandoning a life he said was packed with sin condemning him to hell. Pacquiao is in top form both in mind and spirit after he traded his boozing, gambling and womanising ways for a devout life of prayer, his spiritual adviser, Jeric Soriano, told AFP in a recent Manila interview. Except the world got to him," Soriano said of Pacquiao's …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options