By Tom Goodenough –
A Nazi-war criminal accused of complicity in the killings of 15,700 Jews has been tracked down.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which compiles a list of the most-wanted suspects from the Second World War, confirmed that Laszlo Csatary was identified in the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
The 97-year-old was a police commander in charge of a Jewish ghetto in Kassa, Hungary, during the war, from where thousands were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz.
Ten months ago an informer, who was paid $25,000 for the tip-off, had provided information that allowed the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to locate Csatary, 97, in Budapest.
In September last year, they had passed on their information to the prosecutor’s office in the Hungarian capital.
A statement released on Sunday by Efraim Zuroff, the director of the centre dedicated to hunting down Nazi-war criminals, said it had submitted new evidence regarding crimes committed during World War II by its ‘Number One Most Wanted suspect’ Laszlo Csatary.
The centre said the evidence related to Csatary’s key role in the deportation of approximately 300 Jews from Kosice to Kamenetz-Podolsk, Ukraine, where almost all were murdered in the summer of 1941.Budapest’s assistant prosecutor general, Jeno Varga, said: ‘An investigation is under way. The prosecutor’s office will study the information received.
But Zuroff said in the Centre’s statement: ‘This new evidence strengthens the already very strong case against Csatary and reinforces our insistence that he be held accountable for his crimes.
‘The passage of time in no way diminishes his guilt and old age should not afford protection for Holocaust perpetrators.’
Zuroff told AFP that the The Sun had photographed and filmed Csatary, having acted on the information that the Wiesenthal Center had released last September.
When its reporters confronted him on his doorstep, he had denied any crimes and slammed the door in their faces, the paper reported.
The Wiesenthal Centre has urged Hungarian prosecutors to put Csatary on trial.
They say he served during World War II as a senior Hungarian police officer in the Slovakian city of Kosice, then under Hungarian rule.
He was complicit in the deportations of thousands of Jews from Kosice and the surrounding area to the Auschwitz death camp in the spring of 1944.
According to evidence, Csatary had treated the Jews in the ghetto with cruelty, whipping women and forcing them to dig holes with their bare hands.
In 1948, a Czech court condemned him to death after a trial held in his absence.
He had fled to Canada and had worked as an art dealer using a false identity, before being unmasked in 1995 and forced to flee.
Courtesy Daily Mail UK