SWC Officials Meet With Hungarian Justice Minister Who Urges Swift Commencement of Nazi War Criminal Trial

March 6, 2013

"Prosecution of War Criminal Laszlo Csatary Litmus Test For Holocaust Memory and Commitment to Contain Today's Extremists"

Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister, Dr. Tibor Navracsis, (pictured center with Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC Director for International Relations (L) and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean) told officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center that he will urge the public prosecutor to move swiftly to commence the trial of War Criminal Laslo Csatary, currently under house arrest for complicity in the murder of 15,700 Jews.

"We are on the same side on this issue," he emphasized to Rabbi Cooper and Dr. Samuels during a one hour meeting in Budapest.

"We are deeply concerned, particularly because of his advanced age that the trial begin without delay," Cooper said, adding, "This case is critical to Hungary's collective memory and it would be a betrayal of this sadist's victims to allow the biological clock to decide his fate. This is a litmus test for the integrity of remembering the past and to contain today's extremists."

Wiesenthal Center officials also promised to work with Hungarian authorities to thwart the online bigotry of the neo-Nazi Kuruc.info website which uses US companies to incite hatred in Hungary. The Center's Digital Terrorism and Hate project tracks Internet activities of extremist groups around the world.

Earlier, at a meeting with Chairman of the ruling Fidesz Parliamentary Group, Antal Rogan, the Hungarian leader outlined efforts to expand anti-hate legistlation. "The Deputy Prime Minister indicated that a new civic code which will go into effect in March 2014, will empower Jewish, Roma and other aggrieved communities to take legal steps against hate mongers, including the extremist Jobbik Party," added Dr. Samuels.

Center officials are in Budapest for three days of meetings with Government and Opposition officials, Parliamentary leaders, diplomats, as well as Jewish and Interfaith representatives. Pictured left, Rabbi Cooper and Dr. Samuels meeting with Pastor Sandor Nemeth of Hungarian Pentecostal Faith Church.  

For further information contact Dr Samuels +33609-770158 or Rabbi Cooper +1-310-210-9750, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

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).