Hungary arrests alleged Nazi collaborator, 97
The man heading the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of “most-wanted Nazis” has been arrested in Budapest.
Police picked up 97-year-old Laszlo Csatary in a morning raid yesterday on his apartment in the Hungarian capital, and charged him with the “unlawful torture of human beings”, a crime that carries a life sentence.
Nazi hunters maintain Csatary was a wartime police chief in the Slovakian town of Kosice, which was then part of Hungary. He allegedly presided over an internment camp for 12,000 Jews and helped organise their dispatch to the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other death camps.
The prosecutor’s office said Csatary “regularly” used a dog whip against his prisoners “without any special reason and irrespective of people’s sex, age or health condition”. He also, allegedly, packed people into rail wagons, and condemned them to a suffocating journey by refusing to allow air holes to be cut.
Tibor Ibolya, a state prosecutor, said: “He denies being guilty of the crimes he is accused of. One of his arguments in his defence is that he was obeying orders.”
Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi hunter at the Wiesenthal Centre said of his arrest: “This is the debt owed to his many victims who were tortured and sent to be murdered at Auschwitz.”
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