‘Most wanted’ Nazi war criminal found by Britain’s Sun newspaper

Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary was commander of ghetto in Hungary, allegedly sent nearly 16,000 Jews to Auschwitz

Kassa, today Kosice, Slovakia, the onetime headquarters from where the Jewish ghetto was run. (photo credit: CC-BY Jiri Brozovsky, Flickr)
Kassa, today Kosice, Slovakia, the onetime headquarters from where the Jewish ghetto was run. (photo credit: CC-BY Jiri Brozovsky, Flickr)

Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s most wanted former Nazi to have escaped prosecution, has been located in Budapest, Hungary, by a team of reporters for the British newspaper The Sun the paper reported Sunday.

The Sun's website on Sunday. (screen capture)
The Sun’s website on Sunday. (screen capture)

Csizsik-Csatary, now 97, allegedly helped deport nearly 16,000 Jews to Auschwitz in 1944. During the war, he was in charge of the Jewish ghetto in Kassa, Hungary (today Slovakian Kosice). Over the years, many reports have surfaced of the extreme cruelty which Csizsik-Csatary exhibited, and the pleasure that he displayed in doing so.

After the war, Csizsik-Csatary was convicted in absentia for war crimes and sentenced to death by a court in Czechoslovakia in 1948. He escaped to Canada where, living under an assumed identity, he worked as an art dealer. When Csizsik-Csatary was discovered in 1997, his Canadian citizenship was revoked, and he once again escaped prosecution, fleeing Canada while the government was building a case for his deportation.

Acting on information provided by the Wiesenthal Center, Sun reporters tracked down Csizsik-Csatary to a small apartment in Budapest. They claim to have established that he was in fact the Nazi whom they suspected and they confronted him at his apartment, asking him both about his alleged Nazi past, and his more recent departure from Canada.

The paper reported that he denied everything and slammed the door in a reporter’s face.

According to the Wiesenthal Center’s list of most wanted Nazis, published in April, Csizsik-Csatary was located “several months ago… in the framework of Operation: Last Chance,” the center’s campaign to bring former Nazis to justice before they die off.

The war crimes unit of the Canadian Justice Department referred to Csizsik-Csatary as a “commander” in the Royal Hungarian Police in Kassa in charge of officers who guarded the ghetto. When preparing their case, Csizsik-Csatary confessed to being involved in a “limited role” in the “ghettoization” of Jews.

According to the report, he supervised the lists of the ghetto’s inhabitants, conducted personal searches of Jews and confiscated valuables. In late April 1944, the Jews were rounded up by the local police into a brickyard, and from there they were loaded onto trains that brought them to the Auschwitz death camp.

The Sun quoted Wiesenthal Center director Dr. Efraim Zuroff as saying that “now that The Sun has found this war criminal he must be put on trial in Hungary.” Zuroff added that the passage of time does not diminish Holocaust crimes, nor does it release those who committed those crimes from facing punishment.

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