A Jewish human rights group has provided information to Hungarian authorities about a suspected Nazi war criminal, who is currently being investigated for his role in facilitating the murder of hundreds of interned Jews during World War II.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center recently announced that its chief Nazi-hunter, Israeli director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, submitted new evidence to prosecutors against Laszlo Csatary, the organization's number one suspect on its list of most wanted Nazi war criminals.
According to the Center, Csatary, 97, served as a senior police officer in the Hungarian-ruled Slovakian city of Kocise, and played a key role in the deportation of 300 Jews to Kamenetz-Podolsk, Ukraine, where nearly all of them were killed in 1941.
Csatary is also suspected of having assisted with the deportation of 15,700 Jews in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, the most notorious site for systematic extermination of Jews during the Holocaust.
This new evidence strengthens the already very strong case against Csatary and reinforces our insistence that he be held accountable for his crimes, Zuroff said in a statement.
The passage of time in no way diminishes his guilt and old age should not afford protection for Holocaust perpetrators.
Csatary has been under investigation by Hungarian authorities since September 2011, but the chief prosecutor's office has yet to bring charges against him.
He has been living in Budapest under his own name for several years. After the war, Csatary initially fled to Canada, where he remained until 1997, when he was stripped of his citizenship, but disappeared before authorities could begin an inquiry into his alleged past war crimes.
In addition to Csatary, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has been tracking several suspected Nazi war criminals around the world, publishing an updated a top-ten most wanted list annually. The current whereabouts of those on the list are known with the Wiesenthal Center tracking judicial actions by the countries they are living in, including the U.S., Canada and Germany.
Two suspects, who remain at large, have also been included on the 2012 list, though it is not clear if they are still alive as most people on the list are in their eighties and nineties.
Prosecution of Nazi war criminals is increasingly becoming more difficult as surviving suspects are well into their elder years, complicating judicial proceedings.
Most recently, Ivan 'Ivan the Terrible' Demjanjuk had been convicted in Germany in May 2011 for war crimes as a Nazi prison guard, but was engaged in a prolonged appeal process -- during which he often appeared in court supine on a gurney, and for only a few hours at a time -- that lasted until his death at age 91 in March 2012. As a result of his uncompleted appeal, his previous conviction was invalidated.
Most senior Nazi officials that had evaded capture after the war have either been brought to trial and convicted, or are now dead.
Adolf Eichmann, head of the SS and architect of the Holocaust, had fled to Argentina after the war, where he remained until his capture by Mossad agents in 1960 and was convicted of war crimes in an Israeli court and subsequently hanged in 1962.
Josef Mengele, a senior SS officer and physician known as the Angel of Death for conducting inhumane medical experiments on live subjects at Auschwitz, escaped to Brazil and evaded prosecution until his death in 1979.