Sandor Kepiro 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The trial of the man called the world’s most wanted living Nazi not yet brought
to justice opened in Budapest on Thursday.
Sandor Kepiro was charged with
war crimes for his alleged part in the murder of 36 Jews during a 1942 raid by
the Hungarian fascist police on the city of Novi Sad, in present-day
“I have never been a murderer,” the 97-year-old man said at the
beginning of the trial. “The accusations against me are based on a series of
lies. I was there in the raid, but all we did was ask for papers. The murders
happened in a completely separate location, by the Danube. I wasn’t anywhere
Efraim Zuroff, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,
welcomed the local authorities’ decision to try Kepiro and said it would help
fight bigotry and hate in Hungary.
“This is a very important day for
Hungary and will help the country face its Holocaust past, and at the same time
has a very important message to contemporary Hungary that has seen the rise of
the right and situation of the Roma,” Zuroff said.
racism, this leads to mass murder, so I’m happy it’s finally happened that they
found the courage to prosecute Kepiro.”
Kepiro had been at the top of the
Wiesenthal Center’s list of most wanted Nazi criminals not brought to justice
until his trial opened.
The trial continues on Friday and the court is
expected to issue a ruling on May 19.