Face of the day

A 98-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect, Hungarian Laszlo Csatary, has died while awaiting trial, his lawyer said.

Csatary died in a Hungarian hospital after suffering from a number of medical problems, Gabor Horvath said.

He at one time topped the list of most wanted Nazi war crimes suspects and is alleged to have helped deport 15,700 Jews to death camps in World War II.

He faced charges relating to his wartime activities in both Hungary and in neighbouring Slovakia.

Mr Horvath said his client died on Saturday morning. “He had been treated for medical issues for some time but contracted pneumonia, from which he died.”

Csatary had denied the allegations against him, saying he was merely an intermediary between Hungarian and German officials and was not involved in war crimes.- bbc.co.uk



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  • snakebit

    At 98 what would they do with him if found guilty? Confine him to his old folks home for the rest of his life? Not saying he shouldnt put on trial but you have to admit at 98 the justice ship has kinda sailed.

    • BobaJob

      For the innocent who suffered and for the friends and family of the murdered – then putting them on trail, exposing their sick crimes and convicting the guilty is enough in most cases. I think it becomes a case putting names and faces to these crimes. If you think about it, then it’s of like when someone rips you off, breaks into your car or house, not knowing who did it will play on your mind.

      Why should someone like him (if guilty) not have to spend the rest of his life, no matter how short, in jail and forever named in the history books?

    • johnbronkhorst

      Personally, I’d have hung the bastard anyway!

    • Cracker1963

      My Grandfather spent 3 years in a Nazi Concentration Camp, the stories he tells of the Camp were truly horrifying and almost unbelievable- In fact I didn’t believe him. I was 12 when he told me of his experience’s- I went to the Library (no Google back in 1975) and found the photos of the camp in a number of books- I found a whole new respect for the toughness of my Grandfather & wondered how he survived. He was immensely strong & was always selected for the work gang outside the camp, repairing railway lines damaged by RAF Bombing (ironically, his cousin was a crew member on an RAF Lancaster- later shot down & killed in 1944 over Bonn) – That bastard Csatary needed to be given a fair trial and hanged if found guilty.

      • snakebit

        If guilty im not saying he shouldnt be punished, just that at 98 death isnt as much of a punishment as it would be if he were younger.

        • BobaJob

          I know what you’re saying – but maybe for the old sods that think they’ve got away with it. That having normal folks that they’ve lied to all through through there rotten lives know what they did might have more of an impact on them. This old sod tried to down play it(as they all did at the Nuremberg Trials) oh just following orders. Maybe they will own up and ask to be forgiven as they accept and understand they the true nature of the crime.

      • Andrei

        He had already been sentenced to death, many years ago in a country that no longer exists (Czechoslovakia). The problem being of course that the Death penalty is no longer applied in the EU and the jurisdiction that imposed it no longer exists – however a Slovakian court did reduce the original Death sentence to Life imprisonment and that still stood when he died.

        A lot of lawyers were feeding at the trough on this but their gravy train has just stopped.

        I ask what has been accomplished

        • BobaJob

          I ask what would have been accomplished by doing nothing?

  • Andrei

    The USA still has a bureaucracy tracking down Nazi war criminals within the Department of Justice.

    And when they find one as they very occasionally still do they find a very old man who has lived in the USA for most of his life, had children and grandchildren.

    He is then stripped of his citizenship and supposed to be deported but in many cases there has been no place to deport him too given the way the map of Europe has been redrawn over the years. In one on going case there is a man, ethnically German who was born in a German speaking village that was in Italy but is now in Croatia and is now ethnically Croatian. The Italians don’t want him the Croatians don’t want him and the Austrians, with whom he would have had the most linguistic affinity as a young man don’t either. And his only crime was that he was conscripted as a perimeter guard at a “concentration camp” in Croatia as a very young man 70 years ago.

    Anyway he is locked up now awaiting deportation to nowhere and will remain so for the rest of his life for the crime of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Don’t seem right to me

    • Jimmie

      I guess the concentration camp prisoners he was guarding had no where to go and were born in the wrong place at the wrong time as well Andrei.

      • Andrei

        You are lucky you that the world that you inhabited when you were 17 years old was not engaged in an orgy of fratricidal madness.

        The day before the British arrived at Belsen the German perimeter guards of that place were released and replaced by Hungarian conscripts.

        Outraged tommys, rank and file guys, actually massacred about fifty of these young Hungarians holding them liable for the horrors they had encountered. This was a war crime of course and those dead Hungarians who were held accountable were innocent of any wrong doing, they had been caught up in the maelstrom of those dark days and got unlucky.

        Nobody was or ever will be held accountable for those dead Hungarian boys, it and many other incidents like this have been swept under the rug and all in all that is probably for the best

        • Col

          I understand where your coming from, but war is war, and as long as we have friction these thing will happen, in war there are no winners.

          • BobaJob

            True – even war has rules, break them as this lot did and you will face the consequences. No statute of limitations. And the penalty is the ultimate price.

            Remember soldiers on the battlefield that did not corrupt themselves were repatriated.

          • johnbronkhorst

            and Al Qaeda???

          • BobaJob

            Soldiers don’t target civilian.

        • BobaJob

          Can you please supply me your references detailing the account of this particular war crime please?

        • johnbronkhorst

          The difference between this and concentration camps……The camps were dispassionate killing (disposal) machines. We have machines like it now, but we only put garbage in them, the Nazi’s put people in them, people they viewed as garbage, Jews, the insane, Gypsy’s, “genetically deformed”, and any one who disagreed with them!
          It is the total lack of passion and empathy for the people they put in these places, to die, that was the big crime. Not the passionate acts of young men, faced with horrors they could not have imagined just the day before!

          • Andrei

            My own family were victims of atrocities committed by the Wehrmacht, I find it hard to forgive Germans for the horrors they inflicted back then, even their descendants.

            And I have no problem with those who are responsible for these atrocities being held to account.

            But I am also aware that the people being located now, 70 years later were very young then (teenagers) and were minor players in this and that in many cases these men probably didn’t commit any atrocities at all, they were given a gun and told to guard a fence and that’s what they did. If the fence enclosed a military base they were fine but if it enclosed a prison camp they become war criminals?

            In truth the Germans used conscripts from occupied territories in these roles and after the war many of these guys found themselves stateless – though large numbers were repatriated sometimes to meet dire fates

          • johnbronkhorst

            I agree with some of it. BUT I am a great believer in personal responsibility and “by your actions, shall ye be known”!!! & judged!!!
            As to conscripts….there was a reason most of the worst camps were in Poland!!!

    • BobaJob

      So he was ‘only’ a perimeter guard at a place of illegal imprisonment, rape, torture and murder of the innocent.

  • Jimmie

    Oh well I guess he will be facing a different trial now – and he won’t get any parole once sentenced.

  • BobaJob

    On a positive note:

    Chiune Sugihara a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania during WW2 helped thousands of Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Japan. That was a cover and allowed them to get out of those hell holes. This could have cost him his life and his families lives – but he kept doing it none the less.

    Israel honoured him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions in 1985.

    Sempo – I am honoured to say your name and humbled by your brave actions.