'Most-wanted Nazi' found

Laszlo Csatary, who reportedly helped send 15,700 Jews to die at Auschwitz, has been found in Budapest

Published July 17, 2012 2:41PM (EDT)

        (Kunstbibliothek Berlin/BPK, Berlin/Art Resource, New York)
(Kunstbibliothek Berlin/BPK, Berlin/Art Resource, New York)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

A former Hungarian police officer accused of responsibility for the deaths of nearly 16,000 Jews in World War II has been found living in Budapest.

Britain's Sun newspaper reportedly found a man believed to be Laszlo Csizsik-Csatary, now 97, living in the Hungarian capital.

Global Post

Sun reporters confronted Csatary at his apartment in an upscale suburb of Budapest about Canada revoking his citizenship in 1997.

Answering the door in a long-sleeve shirt and underwear, Csatary told the newspaper, “I don’t want to discuss it.”

He lived in Canada after the war, but disappeared after being stripped of his citizenship.

Csatary was also questioned about his role helping to organize the 1944 deportation of some 15,700 Jews to Auschwitz during World War II.

“No I didn’t do it, go away from here,” Csatary reportedly said in English before slamming the door.

The Associated Press cited Budapest prosecutors as saying that they were investigating the case, based on information received from Simon Wiesenthal Center's Jerusalem office.

The center told prosecutors that Csatary was believed to be the same Hungarian police chief who in 1941, in the Slovakian city of Kosice — at that time part of Hungary — played a "key role" in the deportation of 300 Jews to Ukraine, where they were killed.

The center says he also "helped organize the deportation to Auschwitz of approximately 15,700 Jews" from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.

However, Agence France-Presse cited prosecutors as saying that investigating Csatary was difficult given his alleged crimes occurred so long ago and in another country.

"It took place 68 years ago in an area that now falls under the jurisdiction of another country — which also with regard to the related international conventions raises several investigative and legal problems," a statement quoted by AFP said.

"Finding the answers to the aforementioned questions is a precondition to clarifying the facts and determining further investigative actions."

Meanwhile, a few dozen young demonstrators gathered in a protest outside Laszlo Csatary's apartment late Monday, calling for his arrest.

"It's our last chance to seek justice for the victims," the European Union of Jewish Students, who organized the protest, said in a message posted on its website.

AFP reported Simon Wiesenthal Center as confirming that an informer had provided information 10 months ago that allowed it to locate Csatary in Budapest. The informer was paid $25,000.

Hungary's assistant prosecutor general, Jeno Varga, reportedly said: "An investigation is under way. The prosecutor's office will study the information received."

By Freya Petersen

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Europe Globalpost History Holocaust Nazis World War Ii