Nazi war crimes suspect Csatary dies while awaiting trial in Hungary

Touted to be "most wanted living Nazi," 98-year-old man charged with sending thousands to death camps during Holocaust.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
August 12, 2013 11:50
2 minute read.
Suspected Nazi war criminal Csatary

Suspected war criminal Csatary 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A Czechoslovak court sentenced Csatary to death in absentia in 1948 for war crimes. At the time, Csatary had already fled to Canada, which stripped him of his Canadian citizenship in 1997 and forced him to return to his native Hungary.

The town in what is now Slovakia, Kassa, from where Csatary deported Jews to their deaths, was then located in Hungary.

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 the news.

“Hallelujah,” he said. “You can’t understand what this means to me. It is a great victory and a very important one.”

However, Zuroff expressed deep disappointment on Monday at the news that Csatary had died prior to his trial.

He noted that Csatary had been living in Hungary for more than fifteen years, until his current whereabouts were brought to the attention of the Hungarian authorities by the Wiesenthal Center.

According to Zuroff: "The fact that a well-known war criminal whose Nazi past was exposed in Canada could live undisturbed for so long in the Hungarian capital raises serious questions as to the commitment of the Hungarian authorities to hold their own Holocaust criminals accountable. It is a shame that Csatary, a convicted (in Czechoslovakia in 1948) and totally unrepentant Holocaust perpetrator who was finally indicted in his homeland for his crimes, ultimately eluded justice and punishment at the very last minute."

JTA contributed to this report.


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