Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Hungarian Investigation Of Melbourne Resident and Former Arrow Cross Member, and is Seeking Witnesses From Arrow Cross Headquarters in Budapest Under Nazi Occupation

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December 1, 2005

Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Hungarian Investigation Of Melbourne Resident and Former Arrow Cross Member, and is Seeking Witnesses From Arrow Cross Headquarters in Budapest Under Nazi Occupation

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today welcomed the decision announced this week by the Hungarian authorities to launch a full-scale investigation for genocide against Melbourne resident Lajos Polgar, who was a high–ranking official of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross movement during World War II. The decision came in response to a request submitted in late October 2005 by the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel Director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, and was confirmed in a letter to Zuroff from Dr. Andras Gyenge, Hungary’s ambassador to Israel.

"There is no question that given Polgar’s position as the person in charge of the Arrow Cross headquarters in Budapest in 1944, he was very likely to have been an active participant in the persecution and murder of innocent civilians and therefore a comprehensive investigation of his wartime activities is definitely warranted. We commend the Hungarian authorities for their resolute action in this matter and urge them to expedite the investigation while justice can still be achieved in his case," stated Dr. Zuroff.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is additionally calling upon Holocaust survivors who were in the headquarters of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross movement in Budapest during World War II to come forward to testify about their wartime experiences in conjunction with the investigation against Polgar.

The Center is urging anyone who was in Arrow Cross headquarters at Andrassy St. 60 in Budapest during the Nazi occupation of Hungary to contact its Jerusalem office, at 00-972-50-7214156, or by email to: swcjerus@netvision.net.il.