A Jewish human rights group has provided information to Hungarian authorities
about a suspected Nazi war criminal, who is currently being
investigated for his role in facilitating the murder of hundreds
of interned Jews during World War II.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center recently announced that its chief "Nazi-hunter," Israeli director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, submitted new evidence to prosecutors against
Laszlo Csatary, the organization's number one suspect on
its list of most wanted Nazi war criminals.
According to the Center, Csatary, 97, served as a senior police officer in the
Hungarian-ruled Slovakian city of Kocise, and played a "key role" in the deportation of 300 Jews to Kamenetz-Podolsk, Ukraine, where nearly all
of them were killed in 1941.
Csatary is also suspected of having assisted with the deportation of 15,700 Jews
in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, the most notorious
site for systematic extermination of Jews during the Holocaust.
"This new evidence strengthens the already very strong case against Csatary and
reinforces our insistence that he be held accountable for
his crimes," Zuroff said in a statement.
"The passage of time in no way diminishes his guilt and old age should not afford
protection for Holocaust perpetrators."
Csatary has been under investigation by Hungarian authorities since September
2011, but the chief prosecutor's office has yet to bring
charges against him.
He has been living in Budapest
under his own name for several years. After the war, Csatary
initially fled to Canada, where he remained until 1997,
when he was stripped of his citizenship, but disappeared
before authorities could begin an inquiry into his alleged
past war crimes.
In addition to Csatary, the Simon
Wiesenthal Center has been tracking several suspected Nazi
war criminals around the world, publishing an updated a
top-ten most wanted list annually. The current whereabouts
of those on the list are known with the Wiesenthal Center
tracking judicial actions by the countries they are living
in, including the U.S., Canada and Germany.
Two suspects, who remain at large,
have also been included on the 2012 list, though it is
not clear if they are still alive as most people on the
list are in their eighties and nineties.
Prosecution of Nazi war criminals
is increasingly becoming more difficult as surviving suspects
are well into their elder years, complicating judicial
Most recently, Ivan 'Ivan the
Terrible' Demjanjuk had been convicted in Germany in May
2011 for war crimes as a Nazi prison guard, but was engaged
in a prolonged appeal process -- during which he often
appeared in court supine on a gurney, and for only a few
hours at a time -- that lasted until his death at age 91
in March 2012. As a result of his uncompleted appeal, his
previous conviction was invalidated.
Most senior Nazi officials that
had evaded capture after the war have either been brought
to trial and convicted, or are now dead.
Adolf Eichmann, head of the SS
and "architect of the Holocaust," had fled to Argentina after the war, where he remained until his capture by
Mossad agents in 1960 and was convicted of war crimes in
an Israeli court and subsequently hanged in 1962.
Josef Mengele, a senior SS officer
and physician known as the "Angel of Death" for conducting inhumane medical experiments on live subjects at Auschwitz, escaped
to South America and evaded prosecution until his death
in Brazil in 1979.