June 18, 2013
Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the indictment today of former Kosice (today Slovakia, during World War II under Hungarian occupation) senior police officer and ghetto commandant Laszlo Csatary in Budapest this morning.
In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who located Csatary in Budapest and submitted his whereabouts to the Hungarian authorities in fall 2011, the Center noted the importance of bringing Csatary to justice. The former Kosice ghetto commander played a key role in the deportation of approximately 15,700 Jews to the Auschwitz death camp, where the majority were murdered.
According to Zuroff:
"The indictment of Csatary, who was discovered in the framework of the Center's "Operation Last Chance" project, which offers rewards for information leading to the discovery of Nazi war criminals, is an important reminder that justice for the victims of the Holocaust can still be achieved.
It is also a significant milestone for Hungary as the country struggles with its history during World War II, and sends an important message that people like Csatary are criminals rather than patriotic heroes. The Center urges the Hungarian authorities to expedite the trial in view of the defendant's advanced age."
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).