The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called upon the Hungarian Foreign Ministry to launch an official investigation into the role of Hungarian diplomats in protecting twice-convicted but hereto unpunished Nazi war criminal Dr. Sandor Képiró.
In a letter sent to Hungarian Foreign Minister Kinga Göncz, who is currently visiting Israel, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff pointed to statements by Képiró indicating that officials of the Hungarian Embassy in Buenos Aires knew of his presence in Argentina and had told him in 1996 that he could return to Hungary without fear of prosecution. At that point, Képiró had been living in Argentina for close to 50 years having escaped from Europe following his convictions in 1944 and 1946 for his role in the mass murder of 1,246 civilians in the city of Novi Sad on January 23, 1942.
Among the questions posed by Zuroff to the Foreign Minister are:
- Was the Képiró’s residence in Buenos Aires known to Hungarian diplomats? If so, from what date?
- Was this information ever sent to Budapest and if so, to whom?
- Did Hungarian diplomats indeed tell Képiró that he could return to Hungary without any fear of prosecution?
According to Zuroff:
“Today marks exactly six months since I submitted information concerning Képiró’s crimes and current whereabouts in Budapest to Hungarian prosecutors. In my worst nightmares, I never imagined that at this point he would still be unprosecuted and /or unpunished for these heinous crimes. We urge you to initiate an investigation of the strange circumstances surrounding this case and do whatever you can, to help expedite its successful conclusion.”