Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Hungary Charges Suspected Nazi War Criminal

98-year-old Laszlo Csatary will finally be tried in court

Print Email
Laszlo Csatary(AFP)

At 98 years old, Laszlo Csatary has been charged with partaking in Nazi war crimes that resulted in the deaths of over 15,000 Jews during World War II. Csatary was said to have overseen a concentration camp in Kassa, now known as Kosice in Slovakia, where Jews were gathered for deportation to Auschwitz. He denies the allegations against him, reports the BBC.

Mr Csatary insists that he was merely an intermediary between Hungarian and German officials in Kosice and that he was not involved in war crimes.

It was barely a year ago when it seemed like the charges against Csatary would be dropped. There was still an investigation and a prosecutor in Budapest called the claims “groundless,” reported JTA. The investigations were conducted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, named after the famous Nazi hunter.

Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, told JTA that he would check if the Hungarian prosecution had interviewed any witnesses before dropping the charges. Zuroff said an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor had accused Csatary of arranging for four of her brothers to be pulled out of a labor camp and murdered at Kamyanets-Podilsky, along with other family members.

Csatary has been a wanted war criminal since 1948, when he fled to Canada after a charge and began life there as an art dealer. But when his citizenship was revoked in 1997, he fled again, The New York Times reports.

The center lost track of Mr. Csatary after that, until it received a tip in September 2011 that he was living quietly in Budapest. Mr. Zuroff said he tracked down Mr. Csatary there and then notified the Hungarian authorities, who began an investigation.

The Independent reports that Csatary’s charge has been changed to a life in prison sentence, said Lucia Kollarova, a spokesperson for the Federation of Jewish Communities in Bratislava, Slovakia.

We would prefer the war criminal Laszlo Csatary to be extradited to Slovakia,” Kollarova said. We don’t believe that given his age there is a realistic chance [he would be imprisoned in Hungary].

The case will be tried within three months, according to Bettina Bagoly, a spokesperson for Budapest’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office, and the same woman who refuted the charges against Csatary in 2012.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Miltonb says:

He should be hanged.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Hungary Charges Suspected Nazi War Criminal

98-year-old Laszlo Csatary will finally be tried in court

More on Tablet:

A Tale of Three Twitter Feeds: Hamas Tweets in Arabic, English, and Hebrew

By Aaron Magid — Analysis of the social-media messaging of Hamas’ military wing reveals distinct voices for the West, the Arab Middle East, and Israel