Blogger: GemSen. Charged with executing and torturing Jews during the Second World War, 98-year-old Laszlo Csatary is under arrest in Hungary. The Hungarian prosecutors accused Csatary with war crimes that were apparently carried out when he was serving in the Nazi police, during 1944, overseeing the deportation of 15,700 Jewish detainees to concentration camps, as reported by the Independent. According to the indictment, during 1944 Csatary ran an internment camp in the Slovakian city of Kosice (which was called Kassa at the time and part of Hungary), where he regularly beat Jewish prisoners with a dog-whip. At the top of a ‘wanted list’ of Nazi war criminals, Csatary is also accused of refusing to allow ventilation holes to be cut in a train carriage that held 80 Jews being deported.
The ‘wanted list’ of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a Jewish organisation, is dedicated to bringing the war criminal suspects to justice. Csatary who denies the charges says that he was an intermediary between Hungarian and German officials in Kosice and that he was not involved in war crimes. After the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, discrimination against Jews intensified and Kosice (Kassa) was the site of the first Jewish ghetto established on Hungarian territory. It was the transfer point where the deported jews got handed over to the Germans. Csatary has been under house arrest in Budapest since July last year and in 1948 he was sentenced to death in his absence by a Slovakian court in 1948, after fleeing to Canada until his citizenship was revoked in 1997. Then he lived undisturbed in Budapest, until the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal centre brought him to the attention of Hungarian authorities. Charged also in Slovakia, Csatary’s sentence there has been changed to life in prison, and Lucia Kollarova, a spokeswoman for the Federation of Jewish Communities in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, told the Independent that they wanted him to go to prison there. “We would prefer the war criminal Laszlo Csatary to be extradited to Slovakia,” Kollarova said. “We don't believe that given his age there is a realistic chance (he would be imprisoned in Hungary)”. The indictment accuses Csatary of torturing and murdering Jews - partly as a culprit, partly as an accomplice. The trial is expected to start within the next three months. Apparently, The Sun newspaper photographed and filmed Csatary, having acted on the information that the Wiesenthal Centre had released last September, after receiving a tip-off from an informer. Dr Efraim Zuroff, director of the Wiesenthal Centre, told the paper back then that: "time should never diminish the crimes committed in the Holocaust — or excuse those responsible from facing punishment". Just because Csatary was born in 1915, it shouldn't mean that his suspected dark past should be forgotten should it? What do you think? Source: Independent and The Sun