Police in Hungary on Tuesday arrested Laszlo Csatary, said to be the world’s
most wanted living Nazi, and charged him with war crimes related to the
deportation of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz during World War
Hungarian prosecution said it indicted the 95-year-old for the part
he played in sending 15,700 Jews to Nazi death camps when he was the police
chief of Kosice.
Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff, of the Simon Wiesenthal
center, who tracked Csatary down to a suburb of Budapest late last year, told
The Jerusalem Post shortly after the arrest took place that he was overjoyed by
“Hallelujah,” he said. “You can’t understand what this means to
me. It is a great victory and a very important one.”The Post ran a story
on Zuroff’s claims against Csatary last April, but it wasn’t until The Sun sent
a journalist to Hungary last week and published shirtless photos of the
pensioner answering the door that the issue made headlines around the world.
Over the past week, the story has been picked up by international media outlets
putting pressure on Hungary to act.
“It is very simple, we owe our debt
to ‘The Sun,’” said Zuroff. “People may snicker but ‘The Sun’ spent thousands of
pounds to photograph him and embarrass him. To get a Nazi in prison you have to
take a photo of him in his underwear.”
The visit to Israel by Hungarian
President Janos Ader on Tuesday, where he is set to attend a ceremony at Yad
Vashem, the national Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, may have also also played a
part in the decision to prosecute the Hungarian national.
Zuroff said he
had sent a letter to senior Israeli politicians ahead of Ader’s arrival calling
for them to ask for the arrest of Csatary, but he had no idea if they received
After the war, Csatary emigrated to Canada but was stripped of his
citizenship in 1995 when his wartime role was discovered. He subsequently
returned to his country of birth.
Zuroff said on Thursday he hoped
Csatary’s trial would be swift due to the suspect’s age.
Asked why he
insisted on bringing the remaining Nazis and their collaborators –the youngest
of which are well in their 90s – to trial over 60 years after World War II
ended, Zuroff said “the passage of times does not diminish the guilt of the
“Don’t look at Csatary when he is old and frail,” he said,
“look at a man who when he was at the height of the his powers devoted them to