Wiesenthal Center Statement On Death In Melbourne Of Hungarian Nazi Collaborator Lajos Polgar Currently Under Investigation In Budapest For Participation In Genocide During The Holocaust

Jerusalem-In the wake of the death in Melbourne on July 8, 2006 of Hungarian Nazi collaborator Lajos Polgar, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, at whose request the Hungarian government initiated an investigation for participation in genocide against Polgar, issued the following statement:

“The death late last week in Melbourne of Lajos Polgar before he could be prosecuted for his collaboration with the Nazis in World War II and his active role in the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross movement whose members persecuted and murdered thousands of Hungarian Jews, underscores the tragic failure to prosecute so many of the individuals who were responsible for the crimes of the Holcaust.

“Lajos Polgar was one of numerous Nazi collaborators who managed to escape after World War II to Australia, which unfortunately proved to be a secure haven. In that respect, Polgar was extremely lucky that his Nazi past was only recently discovered because had this information been known a decade or two ago, I am certain that it would have been much easier to find sufficient incriminating evidence to support legal action against him.

“To the very end, Polgar remained proud of his role in the Arrow Cross movement and an unabashed admirer of its leader convicted Nazi war criminal Ferenc Szalasi who was executed in Budapest in March 1946 for war crimes.Polgar recently even had the gall to suggest publically that perhaps the Holocaust had not taken place in Hungary.

“Lajos Polgar should therefore be remembered as an evil person, who wholeheartedly supported a fascist movement which sought to eliminate Hungarian Jewry and enthusiastically cooperated with Nazi Germany, who remained an unrepentant anti-Semite until his dying day and died while under investigation in his homeland for participation in genocide.”

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