New York – The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed today’s decision by Australian Minister Brendan O’Connor to approve the extradition of suspected Hungarian Nazi collaborator Charles Zentai to Budapest to stand trial for a murder committed during the Holocaust.
The Center noted that Zentai was originally identified and exposed in Australia in 2004 by its chief Nazi-Hunter, Israel Director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, in the framework of the Operation: Last Chance project initiated in 2002 and launched in Hungary on July 13, 2004.
In a statement issued today, Zuroff praised the decision by Minister O’Connor and noted its historic significance:
“Today is an important day for Holocaust justice in Australia and in Hungary. Minister O’Connor exhibited wisdom and courage by making this historic decision, which will pave the way for the first successful legal action taken by Australia against a Nazi war criminal living in the country. At the same time, the Zentai case is also of importance for Hungary, which since democracy has hereto never prosecuted a single local Nazi collaborator.
The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the Nazi murderers and elderly age should not afford protection for those who committed the heinous crimes of the Holocaust.”