Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today praised Australian Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O”Conner for appealing the recent decision by a Perth court which would have prevented the extradition to Hungary of suspected Nazi war criminal Charles Zentai, who has been accused of murdering an 18 year old Jewish boy named Peter Balazs, whom he caught on a Budapest streetcar without the yellow star required of all Jews. In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center praised the perseverance of the Australian and Hungarian authorities in this case and noted that the decision reinforces the important principle that the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of Holocaust perpetrators.
According to Zuroff:
“Minister O’Conner has wisely not been persuaded by the disinformation campaign launched on behalf of Mr. Zentai by his family and supporters who are determined to prevent him from facing justice. There is an abundance of evidence which points unequivocally to Zentai’s active participation in the murder of Peter Balazs, which originally convinced the Hungarian government to initially seek his extradition in the late forties. Rather than regarding Zentai as a frail pensioner, he should be considered as a person who at the time of his physical prime devoted all his strength and energy to the persecution of innocent Jews.”