A war criminal in Budapest: The case of László Csatáry

I subscribe to Google Alerts for news on Hungary that I might not otherwise find, and in the last day or so I have been flooded with links to the László Csatáry case.  I must have read at least a dozen descriptions of the career of the former police officer who was in charge of the Kassa/Košice ghetto in 1944. Most of the accounts agree on the essentials. He was instrumental in sending 300 so-called alien Jews to Kamenetz-Podolsk in Ukraine in 1941 where the deportees were murdered by the Germans. And he engaged in acts of extreme cruelty in the Jewish ghetto.

In Kassa two ghettos were set up, one in the center of the city and another in the outskirts of Kassa in a brickyard. This latter ghetto also housed Jewish citizens from the surrounding villages. They numbered 15,700, and according to the articles I read only 450 managed to survive the deportation to Auschwitz.

The mayor of Kassa was a rabid Hungarian Nazi who received eager help from the local police force, including László Csatáry, a high-level police officer who was put in charge of the brickyard. Csatáry’s cruelty was infamous already at the time; news of his cruelty even reached Mrs. Horthy.

Csatáry has the dubious distinction of being mentioned by Randolph L. Braham in his monumental The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary.   According to Braham there is a detailed eyewitness account of events in Kassa and of Csatáry’s cruelty that appeared in Menóra-Egyenlőség (June 1, 1984), a Canadian publication. Moreover, Braham himself has a few relevant documents on Csatáry in his possession.

As the Soviet troops were advancing László Csatáry with many others retreated with the German and the Hungarian armies, ending up in Germany. From there he emigrated to Canada in 1949. First he settled in Nova Scotia and later in Montreal where he was an art dealer. By the 1990s he lived in Toronto. Whether he used his own name when he entered Canada is unclear, but he didn’t tell the truth about his citizenship and his criminal record to the Canadian immigration authorities. He claimed to be a Yugoslav citizen. Moreover, a year before, in 1948, he was condemned to death in absentia in Czechoslovakia.

He lived undisturbed in Canada until 1997 when it was discovered that he had provided false information about his nationality and had failed to provide information concerning his collaboration with Nazi occupation forces while serving with the Royal Hungarian Police. As a result, the Canadian government revoked his citizenship on August 28, 1997. As deportation proceedings were under way, Csatáry voluntarily left the country. In October 1997, when officials of the Canadian Justice Department’s war crimes unit went to Csatáry’s home, his daughter told them he was living in Europe.

László Csatáry today. Photo by The Sun

Although the daughter didn’t say anything specific about her father’s whereabouts, it looks as if Csatáry settled in Hungary. He lived undisturbed in Budapest for the last 15 years, until a few days ago when a couple of reporters from the British tabloid, The Sun, found him in a “smart section of Buda.”

At this point the story becomes a bit muddled. Ephraim Zuroff, the current head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, received information from “a paid informant” that Csatáry was living in Hungary. According to one account the informant will receive $25,000, but only when Csatáry is convicted. Because Csatáry is now 97 years old and because the Hungarian judicial system is exceedingly slow, I have the suspicion that “the very reliable informant” will never receive his bounty.

When did Zuroff inform the Hungarian authorities about Csatáry’s whereabouts? It is hard to say, but I found one source that claims that the Hungarians were told about Csatáry’s Hungarian sojourn already in 2006. In September 2011 Zuroff even gave them Csatáry’s Budapest address. Nothing happened, and the frustrated  Zuroff turned to The Sun, whose reporters broke the story.  According to one report Zuroff and The Sun have cooperated on several cases hunting down war criminals. Zuroff’s aim was to bring the case to the attention of the public because it was becoming obvious that the Hungarian prosecutors had no intention of bringing charges against Csatáry any time soon, if at all.

The spokesman for the prosecutor’s office announced that the investigation has been under way but added that collecting all the facts surrounding a crime that was committed 68 years ago is a very lengthy affair, especially since the witnesses are scattered all over the world. Moreover, the scene of the crime, Kassa/Košice, today belongs to Slovakia.

According to Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center “last week submitted new evidence to the prosecutor in Budapest regarding crimes committed during World War II by its No. 1 Most Wanted suspect László Csatáry.” This new evidence is “related to Csatáry’s key role in the deportation of approximately 300 Jews from Košice to Kamenetz-Podolsk, Ukraine, where almost all were murdered in the summer of 1941.” The Hungarian prosecutors promised to investigate this evidence as well.

All this couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Hungarian government. The Orbán government is under fire at the moment because of its tacit approval of an emerging Horthy cult and because of its foolish identification with far-right anti-Semitic writers of the interwar period. László Kövér, speaker of the house, got disinvited by his counterpart in the Israeli knesset because Kövér sponsored the reburial of József Nyirő in Romania. In a great hurry Kövér was replaced by the new Hungarian president, János Áder.

While Áder was amiably chatting with the Israeli president Shimon Peres, the leading Israeli paper Haaretz ran an article entitled “Israel has a tough time finding a Hungarian leader not identified with anti-Semites.” Haaretz learned that “Hungarian President János Áder also participated in a ceremony honoring an anti-Semitic artist convicted of war crimes during the Holocaust.” The person in question was Albert Wass, “a nationalistic anti-Semitic writer found guilty of murdering Jews.” According to the paper Áder attended an unveiling ceremony of a Wass memorial in 2008.

And now the clear implication that the Hungarian authorities, although they have known that László Csatáry lived in Budapest for six years, failed to bring charges against him. All in all, it doesn’t look good. Actually, it looks very, very bad.

96 comments

  1. The good news is that as far as we know Csatary did not write any poems, novels or dramas, otherwise he would become mandatory to be studied next to other nazi literature. like Wass and Nyiro. Unfortunately I am not sure if they will not name some streets after him, as he is the typical true Hungarian who the liberals and communists try to frame.

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  2. 97 years old. He probably lived his life as a good father to his daughter, who knows, maybe even as a grandfather or great-grandfather. Something that he did not allow his many victims to have a chance to do.

    At this point of his miserable life there is no punishment possible that is sufficient for his crimes. I really would like to believe that there is hell after death for him. But I don’t.

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  3. gdfxx :
    At this point of his miserable life there is no punishment possible that is sufficient for his crimes. I really would like to believe that there is hell after death for him. But I don’t.

    There is never a punishment big enough for the kind of crimes these despicable monsters did, but being outcast from society, having your family wish you would be someone else, having society despise you because they know what you did is some form of punishment. He deserves no freedom, the strolls to the stores, the phone calls with his family. He should be put into solitary confinement, so he will never know if even his family ever could forgive him. His only entertainment should be all the documentaries that were made on the horrors he participated in.

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  4. You write that “The person in question was Albert Wass, “a nationalistic anti-Semitic writer found guilty of murdering Jews.”

    In fact, none of the hundreds of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act by the U.S. government on Albert Wass contain any information that would prove that he was guilty of the murder of Jews. That he was thoroughly vetted is shown also by the fact, that one of Albert Wass’ sons attended and graduated first in his class at West Point, later becoming a brigadier general in the U.S. Army. This would hardly have been possible if his father was a murderer of Jews.

    Details of Albert Wass’ show trial in Kolozsvar are detailed in the book “A grof emigralt, az iro otthon maradt” by Erno Raffay, Mihaly Takaro and Karoly Vekov. published by Szabad Ter Kft in 2004. It gives an excellent insight into how the judiciary worked in ‘liberated’ Erdely.

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  5. Sort of relevant.

    There are excerpts on the MTI’s (Hungarian News Agency) web site from Janos Ader’s (president) speech he gave today on a ceremony marking Raoul Wallenberg’s 100th birthday. As you know Ader replaced Laszlo Kover, the president of the parliament who became persona non grata in Israel after proudly attending a memorial service honoring the nazi collaborator, author and parliamentarian Jozsef Nyiro.

    In the Knesset, he said the following: we should also remember the six million victims of the Holocaust, including the hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews, ** who were not protected by the Hungarian state **.

    He should have rather stayed home … Mr. Ader. You failed miserably. We are back to square one.

    In 1944, the Hungarian authorities, in coordination with the German security police, began to systematically deport the Hungarian Jews. The Hungarian police carried out the roundups and forced the Jews onto the deportation trains.

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  6. Csaba K Zoltani: “In fact, none of the hundreds of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act by the U.S. government on Albert Wass contain any information that would prove that he was guilty of the murder of Jews. That he was thoroughly vetted is shown also by the fact, that one of Albert Wass’ sons attended and graduated first in his class at West Point, later becoming a brigadier general in the U.S. Army. This would hardly have been possible if his father was a murderer of Jews.”

    The fact that the US government has no relevant documents about Albert Wass’s crimes does not mean that those crimes did not take place. It just means that the US government has no proof of them. Had the proof of those crimes been in the government possession, Albert Wass would have been extradited to the Romanian authorities.

    I don’t know where Mr. Zoltani lives, but in the US children are not judged based on their fathers’ deeds, even potential or real criminal deeds, but by their own merits

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  7. Albert Wass was a totally confused person.
    Decent and nice at one point, but also a loyal officer to Szalasi.
    It is hard to explain that someone could be that unscrupulous.
    He was just a product of the race hating Hungary. Sometimes totally irrational.

    Ader Janos is hardly normal. How can a normal person serve an Orban?

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  8. It seems to me that one quick way of dispensing justice in the Csatary case is to turn him over to the Slovak authorities, since the scene of the crime is in Slovakia. Also, there is apparently an already standing conviction by the Czechoslovak state, of which Slovakia is a legal successor.

    Another option may be to send him toThe Haugue, although that will simply guarantee that he lives out his life in complete comfort.

    Having him tried in Hungary is the most problematic. Lack of evidence from Kassa, etc. makes a new trial highly unlikely.

    Perhaps the Israelis can kidnap him to Israel and try him as they did in the case of Eichman.

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  9. Csaba K. Zoltani is protecting a big time anti-semite. Albert Wass regularly published ant-semitic articles in Hungarian nazi publications.

    I can’t find the English original of the following. If somebody has it please publish it here. It’s an article written by Wass. It’s from the Metapedia, the “white supremacist encyclopedia”.

    http://hu.metapedia.org/wiki/Antiszemitizmus:_a_XX._sz%C3%A1zad_%C3%A1m%C3%ADt%C3%A1sa

    Professor Balogh also had a post about him:

    http://esbalogh.typepad.com/hungarianspectrum/2010/08/about-albert-wass.html

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  10. Csatáry László már “vizsgálat tárgyát” a magyar rendőrség, mert tavaly ősszel. Ez az ember meggyilkolta 15.700 ártatlan embert, köztük a nagymamám, nagy kegyetlenség. Ő volt ismert, hogy megvernek, hogy azok a nők, és lyukat ásni a kezüket.
    Mit fog csinálni Magyarországon? (Azt már elmondta, hogy letartóztatták őt is problematikus annak ellenére, hogy már 1948-ban bűnösnek találták.) Letartóztatni, adj neki egy érmet és egy szobor, vagy semmi? Nemrég nyilas nácik tartottak fel, mint hősök.
    Az egész világ figyeli.

    Looking at Hungarian blogs about this subject today I see mostly pro-Nazi antisemetic comments. Hungary considers Arrow Cross leaders as heroes.

    The world is watching what will Hungary do about a murderer of 15,700?

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  11. Csaba K. Zoltani: Even if there are no documents on the murdered Jews, there are plenty of documents on Albert Wass’ anti-semitic writings , contacts with the nazi community in excile. Ader was attending the ceremony– he honored an anti-semitic writer.

    Which is even worth as Mutt mentioned, Today Ader said in Israel that the Hungarian government did not do anything “teltlenul szemlelte” when Jews have been deported. SHAME!!!! He should have said that the Hungarian government actively deported the Hungarian Jewish citizens. 200 000 Hungarian officials worked perfectly and fast to get rid off more than half a millon Jews.

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  12. Csaba K. Zoltani :
    You write that “The person in question was Albert Wass, “a nationalistic anti-Semitic writer found guilty of murdering Jews.”
    In fact, none of the hundreds of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act by the U.S. government on Albert Wass contain any information that would prove that he was guilty of the murder of Jews. That he was thoroughly vetted is shown also by the fact, that one of Albert Wass’ sons attended and graduated first in his class at West Point, later becoming a brigadier general in the U.S. Army. This would hardly have been possible if his father was a murderer of Jews.
    Details of Albert Wass’ show trial in Kolozsvar are detailed in the book “A grof emigralt, az iro otthon maradt” by Erno Raffay, Mihaly Takaro and Karoly Vekov. published by Szabad Ter Kft in 2004. It gives an excellent insight into how the judiciary worked in ‘liberated’ Erdely.

    Nice to see that new people are tuning in. F.Y.I. Eva wrote the following in a previous post: “Although one cannot be sure whether Albert Wass was actually responsible for the death of a number of Romanians and Jews for which he was condemned to death in absentia in Romania, we do know that Wass was a confirmed anti-semite. ”
    http://esbalogh.typepad.com/hungarianspectrum/2010/08/about-albert-wass.html
    I cannot imagine either that he was a nationalistic anti-semite”, and I am sure that the liberal conspirators in their time machine make Wass write his lovely piece (appropriately titled), “This is how I became an anti-semite.”
    Also, thank goodness that the USA is not Hungary, and there the sons do not have to pay for their father’s sins. In Hungary some people actually do not have to pay for their father’s sins, some have to pay for their father’s supposed sins.
    So, I wish I would educate yourself a bit further then on the subject of making Wass a hero, and misunderstood.

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  13. Jean Pierre Katz :
    Csatáry László már “vizsgálat tárgyát” a magyar rendőrség, mert tavaly ősszel. Ez az ember meggyilkolta 15.700 ártatlan embert, köztük a nagymamám, nagy kegyetlenség. Ő volt ismert, hogy megvernek, hogy azok a nők, és lyukat ásni a kezüket.
    Mit fog csinálni Magyarországon? (Azt már elmondta, hogy letartóztatták őt is problematikus annak ellenére, hogy már 1948-ban bűnösnek találták.) Letartóztatni, adj neki egy érmet és egy szobor, vagy semmi? Nemrég nyilas nácik tartottak fel, mint hősök.
    Az egész világ figyeli.
    Looking at Hungarian blogs about this subject today I see mostly pro-Nazi antisemetic comments. Hungary considers Arrow Cross leaders as heroes.
    The world is watching what will Hungary do about a murderer of 15,700?

    ‘What Hungary will do’….most likely, is hide him in some monastery.

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  14. “That [Albert Wass] was thoroughly vetted is shown also by the fact that one of [his] sons attended and [was] graduated first in his class at West Point, later becoming a brigadier general in the U.S. Army. This would hardly have been possible if his father was (sic; ‘were’) a murderer of Jews.”

    Sippenhaft, rokonság büntetőjogi felelőssége. Not a concept that USA law and custom endorse, Zoltani úram.

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  15. Sackhoes Contributor :
    It seems to me that one quick way of dispensing justice in the Csatary case is to turn him over to the Slovak authorities, since the scene of the crime is in Slovakia. Also, there is apparently an already standing conviction by the Czechoslovak state, of which Slovakia is a legal successor.

    I agree. In 1997, in relation with the Canadian trial, a Slovak prosecutor gathered 29 testimonies (see SME, april 2012).

    Since it seems that the Canadian court did not notify Slovakia of the issue of their proceedings, I find it dubious that they would have informed Hungary at the time. Thereof, there was no reason why the Hungarian justice system should have investigated M. Csatary beetween 1997 and 2011 (or maybe 2006).

    So, Slovakia could issue an EAW… but then it would become another issue, wouldn’t it?

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  16. The Hungarian president János Áder said according to Népszabadság in Israel’s Knesset ; The Hungarian state did nothing to save the Jews, it just looked on the bloodbath, it looked on without action how they were deported and annihilated (my quick translation)*

    With all respect due to a head of state, this is mendacity. The Hungarian state under its head Horthy has made laws against the Jews, concentrated them in ghettos, robbed them and let its gendarmes (Magyar Királyi Csendörség) whip the unfortunates into the cattle-trucks, always 80 persons into one truck. Many of them died on the way to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    Let me remind those readers, who do not know Hungarian. References to “alien” elements that controlled the media and is playing prominent role in academia in the capital are frequent in Fidesz near media. This is of course an anti-Semitic code. State controller Budai and Fidesz media mob started an implicit anti-Semitic smear campaign in January 2011 against “liberal” philosophers with no evidence whatsoever.

    The anger of so many Hungarians suffering from unemployment, inflation and impoverishment is been directed implicitly and explicitly against the Jews. Scapegoating is skillfully manipulated by some publicists in Fidesz near media who blame the Jews for the past ills of the country, especially those associated with the Communist era.
    And I did not yet mention Jobbik, an anti-Semitic and racist party which is proposing different measures. Fidesz-KNDP in order to take out the wind of their sails is their performing agent. Examples: Trianon remembrance day, Horthy statues and last but not least the honor given to József Nyirö, anti-Semitic member of Hungarian Parliament also under Szálasi, MP of Szálasi “parliament” in Sopron, propagandist for the war still in January 1945 and one of the leaders of arrow cross emigration after the war.

    * Áder magyar nyelvű beszédében elismerte, hogy a magyar állam a holokauszt idején nem tett semmit a zsidók megmentése érdekében, csak szemlélte a vérzivatart. – A magyar allam nem védte meg a magyar zsidókat a holokauszt idején. Tétlenul nézte, ahogy deportálják és elpusztítjak őket – fogalmazott a köztársasági elnök.

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  17. With due respect to the whole subject, for how long will the West want to ram down its double standard on this region? When will the first western journalist appear in front of a Moscow flat and demand the arrest of a former guard who had been in charge of the commie concentration / gulag camps in Kolyma? How many people in the West know in 2012 about Kolyma? Are there 200 in total?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolyma

    And when will Hollywood make its first film on those horror years? Will it be in the year 2300?

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  18. Turkmenbasi :
    With due respect to the whole subject, for how long will the West want to ram down its double standard on this region?

    Of course, as long as Russia, unlike Germany, remains reluctant to deal with its past. But this is no excuse for Hungary applying a standard completely different from other countries in this region. (Which also have very unpleasant things in their past, of course. For a nice comparison with Slovakia, regrettably only in Hungarian: http://dotoho.blog.hu/2012/05/23/miert_kinos_beismerni_horthy_felelosseget .)

    For how long will this silly argument (“Gulag justifies Auschwitz, or vice versa, so let’s forget about the whole thing”) keep resurfacing?

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  19. gdfxx :
    97 years old. He probably lived his life as a good father to his daughter, who knows, maybe even as a grandfather or great-grandfather. Something that he did not allow his many victims to have a chance to do.

    I got to know about this on Monday morning through BBC news. Told my husband about it, and his response was “what can they do with this 90 y.o. man?” I was like, er… “well, if he is alive and well, he could still spread his belief to the young.” Plus what you mentioned above.

    Unfortunately, I think majority of Hungarians will not get what is the fuss is all about.

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  20. As the Soviet troops were advancing László Csatáry with many others retreated with the German and the Hungarian armies, ending up in Germany. From there he emigrated to Canada in 1949.

    Germany? May I ask, if this is public information, where you found it? Based upon the Yugoslav citizenship, I presumed he was more likely to have come back to Hungary, and then emigrated to Canada through the British Refugee Service, whose vetting was notoriously unreliable.

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    1. Do a little googling on Displaced Persons at the end of WW2. After Horthy was captured by the Germans and taken to Germany as a prisoner, a large portion of the Hungarian Army and the State apparatus swore loyalty to the Nyilas (Hungarian Nazi) leader, Szallasi. As the Soviet Army advanced westward, they retreated and ended up in Austria or Germany. While many of them returned to Hungary after the war was over, many of them didn’t, along with others from other countries, which did not want to or were afraid to return to countries occupied by the Soviets. These people, referred to as DPs, were in fact stateless, living in camps or makeshift lodgings. As the Cold War became more rigid, western countries, especially the traditional immigration oriented countries like Canada, Australia and Argentina started to take in these DP’s. Eventually the US opened its borders, too.

      Some of these people were innocent victims of vicious history. To refuse taking oath to Szallasi meant serious hardship or even death, so they went along. Some of them, like Csatary, were rabid anti-Semites, who were in position to cause suffering and death to Jews and the Roma. After the war they hid their background, lied, like Csatary, about their identity and about their activity. , Eventually, some of these Nazi criminals were identified by their new countries and expelled.

      There is an excellent film on this subject, The Music Box. Worth watching…

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  21. Csaba K. Zoltani :

    You write that “The person in question was Albert Wass, “a nationalistic anti-Semitic writer found guilty of murdering Jews.”

    In fact, none of the hundreds of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act by the U.S. government on Albert Wass contain any information that would prove that he was guilty of the murder of Jews. That he was thoroughly vetted is shown also by the fact, that one of Albert Wass’ sons attended and graduated first in his class at West Point, later becoming a brigadier general in the U.S. Army. This would hardly have been possible if his father was a murderer of Jews.

    Details of Albert Wass’ show trial in Kolozsvar are detailed in the book “A grof emigralt, az iro otthon maradt” by Erno Raffay, Mihaly Takaro and Karoly Vekov. published by Szabad Ter Kft in 2004. It gives an excellent insight into how the judiciary worked in ‘liberated’ Erdely.

    Two comments.

    (1) You should have noticed that the sentence on Wass’s guilt was in quotation marks. It came from Ephraim Zuroff. So, it wasn’t I who wrote it as you claim.

    (2) I didn’t read the book on Wass’s trial but the authors’ names don’t inspire much confidence. Unfortunately, they belong to a group of historians who hold views that destine them to defend Wass. Takaró was the man, for example, who managed to convince Rózsa Hoffmann to include Nyirő in the basic school curriculum. Raffay also espouses far right views. So, I can’t consider them a reliable source on Wass’s career.

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  22. Karl Pfeifer :

    The Hungarian president János Áder said according to Népszabadság in Israel’s Knesset ; The Hungarian state did nothing to save the Jews, it just looked on the bloodbath, it looked on without action how they were deported and annihilated (my quick translation)*

    With all respect due to a head of state, this is mendacity. The Hungarian state under its head Horthy has made laws against the Jews, concentrated them in ghettos, robbed them and let its gendarmes (Magyar Királyi Csendörség) whip the unfortunates into the cattle-trucks, always 80 persons into one truck. Many of them died on the way to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    ….

    * Áder magyar nyelvű beszédében elismerte, hogy a magyar állam a holokauszt idején nem tett semmit a zsidók megmentése érdekében, csak szemlélte a vérzivatart. – A magyar allam nem védte meg a magyar zsidókat a holokauszt idején. Tétlenul nézte, ahogy deportálják és elpusztítjak őket – fogalmazott a köztársasági elnök.

    I’m a bit behind with my reading the Hungarian media because I was working on an interview that will appear, I assume soon, in the Hungarian press soon,

    As far as Áder’s speech is concerned. These people simply don’t learn. I will be curious to see what the Israeli reaction will be.

    As far as the quote from Népszabadság is concerned. Áder delivered his speech was in Hungarian. I knew that he didn’t manage to learn enough English in the last four years that he can give a speech in that language. Four years ago he knew no English whatsoever and we all wondered what he will do in the European Parliament. Yes, yes, there are Hungarian interpreters but one without knowing some western language is really useless in Brussels. I was told at the time of his appointment by a young “political scientist” that Áder now speaks English well. I see how well!

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  23. Csaba K Zoltani, Wass was an anti-Semitic scribbler and it can’t be justified to poison young Hungarians with his scrawling. The fact that statues are erected in Hungary for this shady character shows, were this UE-country is sliding to.

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  24. enufff :

    gdfxx :
    97 years old. He probably lived his life as a good father to his daughter, who knows, maybe even as a grandfather or great-grandfather. Something that he did not allow his many victims to have a chance to do.

    I got to know about this on Monday morning through BBC news. Told my husband about it, and his response was “what can they do with this 90 y.o. man?” I was like, er… “well, if he is alive and well, he could still spread his belief to the young.” Plus what you mentioned above.
    Unfortunately, I think majority of Hungarians will not get what is the fuss is all about.

    The fact is that the majority of Hungarians are anti-semites, notoriously supported in their beliefs by the devious Catholic
    Church. I daresay that if you turned the Bishop of Hungary upside down…out would pop the name and phone number of Chatary, who could probably be found cowering in some remote
    Hungarian monastery….

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  25. Éva, the Israeli reaction is predictable. No reaction from the government, but I expect some reaction of the media.
    In the case of Kövér it was different, because he really exaggerated.
    I believe the Hungarian government establishment is beyond hope. Even
    Foreign affairs minister Martonyi who speaks foreign languages and is a polite gentleman has to tell the untruth quite frequently in order to try to polish the bad image of his country.
    It is amazing, that Efraim Zuroff had to act, in order that he was investigated now by the public prosecutor.
    Of course Jobbiks MP Zsolt Németh – not to be confused with the other Zs. Németh, state secretary in the FO – has reported Zuroff for the “minimization of communist crimes”.

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  26. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    As the Soviet troops were advancing László Csatáry with many others retreated with the German and the Hungarian armies, ending up in Germany. From there he emigrated to Canada in 1949.

    Germany? May I ask, if this is public information, where you found it? Based upon the Yugoslav citizenship, I presumed he was more likely to have come back to Hungary, and then emigrated to Canada through the British Refugee Service, whose vetting was notoriously unreliable.

    I’m afraid you are a bit confused. If Csatáry is 97 years old now, he was born in 1915. I know from a private source familiar with the case that he was born somewhere south of pre-Trianon Hungary which later became a part of Yugoslavia. He wasn’t a Yugoslav citizen. He just lied to the Canadians that he was in order to cover his tracks.

    There is no question that he emigrated to Canada from Germany. His status was “displaced person” (DP).

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  27. Mutt Damon :

    Mr Csatary was taken into custody a few hours ago in Budapest. He’s saying he is not guilty of anything. He was only executing orders.

    I understand from Népszabadság that during the interrogation he made it clear that his “hatred” of Jews is still very much alive.

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  28. Hungarian President Ader makes some vaguely sympathetic remarks in Israel. The Hungarian authorities limp into action and take Csatary into custody.

    But meanwhile, Speaker of the House Lazslo Kover sees fit to make ‘dog whistle’ remarks about the urgent need to defend the country against the Jewish enemies who seek to bring Hungary down.
    http://www.politics.hu/20120718/quotable-laszlo-kover-on-foreign-economic-shadow-powers/
    (At least, that’s how I, and I suspect, many potential far-right voters will interpret it).

    Cynically trying to appeal to everyone, and throwing principles out of the window.

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  29. Eva S. Balogh :
    I’m afraid you are a bit confused. If Csatáry is 97 years old now, he was born in 1915. I know from a private source familiar with the case that he was born somewhere south of pre-Trianon Hungary which later became a part of Yugoslavia. He wasn’t a Yugoslav citizen. He just lied to the Canadians that he was in order to cover his tracks.

    I’m afraid I wasn’t clear enough: I never wrote that the Yugoslav citizenship was real, it has been established long ago in the Canadian proceedings that it was a lie. By the way, what you say about the family origins make sense regarding the choice of a credible ‘alternate’ identity.

    Eva S. Balogh :
    There is no question that he emigrated to Canada from Germany. His status was “displaced person” (DP).

    DP camps existed in Ljubljana, Trieste… which could possibly be joined from Hungary. I say this because his colleague in Kassa, Capt. Horváth, was sentenced and jailed in Budapest.

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  30. Respect Beauty :
    Doesn’t Gyurcsány bear some responsibility for this as well?

    I don’t recall that during Gyurcsany’s tanure as prime minister the Horthy statue building and the Nazi writer’s inclusion in the national curriculum were promoted by the Hungarian government.

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  31. Győr Calling!

    It’s ironic that ‘The Sun’ has contributed so much to the exposing of Csatáry.

    In England the Sun is an organ of Murdoch’s News International – a paper with an awful reputation for politics-lite – and is all tits and bums.

    A bit like your Blikk.

    So our free press – even at its lowly levels – is head and shoulders above Orban’s shackled press. I am wondering if any of Hungary’s journalists had any knowledge of him being in a ‘smart section of Buda’ for so long? But were too afraid to speak out?

    It was classic Sun tactics to doorstep him for a photograph.

    I think someone should tell Hugh Grant!

    Regards

    Charlie

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  32. Respect Beauty :

    Doesn’t Gyurcsány bear some responsibility for this as well?

    In what way? That the independent prosecutors’ office did nothing? Moreover, we don’t even know exactly when Zuroff talked to the Hungarians about Csatáry. According to one source it was in 2006 and to another only in 2011. But gdfxx explained that the Horthy-cult is a recent development.

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  33. Sackhoes Contributor :
    Do a little googling on Displaced Persons at the end of WW2. After Horthy was captured by the Germans and taken to Germany as a prisoner, a large portion of the Hungarian Army and the State apparatus swore loyalty to the Nyilas (Hungarian Nazi) leader, Szallasi. As the Soviet Army advanced westward, they retreated and ended up in Austria or Germany. While many of them returned to Hungary after the war was over, many of them didn’t, along with others from other countries, which did not want to or were afraid to return to countries occupied by the Soviets. These people, referred to as DPs, were in fact stateless, living in camps or makeshift lodgings. As the Cold War became more rigid, western countries, especially the traditional immigration oriented countries like Canada, Australia and Argentina started to take in these DP’s. Eventually the US opened its borders, too.
    Some of these people were innocent victims of vicious history. To refuse taking oath to Szallasi meant serious hardship or even death, so they went along. Some of them, like Csatary, were rabid anti-Semites, who were in position to cause suffering and death to Jews and the Roma. After the war they hid their background, lied, like Csatary, about their identity and about their activity. , Eventually, some of these Nazi criminals were identified by their new countries and expelled.
    There is an excellent film on this subject, The Music Box. Worth watching…

    The Music Box was written by Joe Eszterhazy of Cleveland. His parents had escaped
    post-war Hungary and the father always passed himself off as a left-wing newspaperman.
    In fact, it was a giant lie–the father was found out to be a member of the arrow cross and escaped to save his own neck. The wife committed suicide in Cleveland in the late 60’s.
    When Eszterhazy found out about his father, he swore never to speak to him again although he allowed his son to visit with him.

    What is particularly chilling about the film are the scenes in Hungary where it is clear that many years later the police are still helping to cover the tracks of Hungarian nazis.

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  34. @Petofi:

    There are similar stories in Germany where people found out (often by accident, sometimes by being asked: are you a relative of the Nazi * …) about their fathers – and several persons have written articles or whole books on that experience as a kind of “cleansing of the mind” …

    It must be a terrible experience to realise that your loving father is a sadist …

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  35. Petrovich: “The Music Box was written by Joe Eszterhazy of Cleveland. His parents had escaped
    post-war Hungary and the father always passed himself off as a left-wing newspaperman”

    His name is Eszterhas and not Eszterhazy. The father was an editor at “Magyar Futar” and wrote plays and books in Hungary before and during the war. In the US he worked at the Katolikus Magyarok Vasarnapja and published many books. I am not aware of him posing as a leftist. I am not sure if he was an Arrow Cross member, because he was also personal secretary to Istvan Antal (minister under Sztojai)who was jailed by Szalasi.

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  36. Wolfi: “There are similar stories in Germany where people found out (often by accident, sometimes by being asked: are you a relative of the Nazi * …) about their fathers – and several persons have written articles or whole books on that experience as a kind of “cleansing of the mind” …

    You are absolutely correct. It would be nice if similar cleansing of minds would occure among the descendents of the communist sadists…

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  37. Louis Kovach: “You are absolutely correct. It would be nice if similar cleansing of minds would occure among the descendents of the communist sadists.”

    Hmm. Good point. Well, let’s hope that the Hungarian government open up those communist-era secret-service files soon, then, eh? Any idea why Fidesz voted to keep the archives closed?

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  38. Bowen: “Any idea why Fidesz voted to keep the archives closed?”

    I wish I knew. They should have been opened immediatly in 1990. The longer they wait the less reliable they will be. But some descendents should be aware of what their parents did, without the archives. Many names are well known.

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  39. Well, as my old history professor once tried to teach me, Nazism (or extreme right-wing ideology) and communism aren’t really two opposite ends of the spectrum. They’re more like two opposite ends of a horseshoe: closer than you think. And when it comes to crimes against humanity, perhaps even closer again.

    I think what I’m trying to say is that your distinction between nazi sadists and communist sadists isn’t a distinction worth making (unless you have an ulterior ideological motive).

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  40. Louis Kovach :
    Bowen: “Any idea why Fidesz voted to keep the archives closed?”
    I wish I knew. They should have been opened immediatly in 1990. The longer they wait the less reliable they will be. But some descendents should be aware of what their parents did, without the archives. Many names are well known.

    Louise! Historical moment! You had an opinion and I fully agree!

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  41. @Marcel: Thanks! A very moving story. As I’ve written before, I might be thankful that my fazther was “only” a “Mitläufer” (also run).

    @Louis:

    Yes! Let’s start with Orbán senior …

    @Bowen:

    In mathematics you often have the situation: minus infinity equals plus infinity.

    In a way it’s funny: One of the protagonists of the radical left terrorist group RAF (responsible for many killings) in Germany, Horst Mahler (a former lawyer), became a member of the NPD (German Jobbik …) which he left however – the party probably was not radical enough for him …

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  42. Bowen :

    let’s hope that the Hungarian government open up those communist-era secret-service files soon, then, eh? Any idea why Fidesz voted to keep the archives closed?

    I just received the review copy of Paul Lendvai’s book, Hungary between democracy and authoritarianism” and because of a storm we had no internet connection I began to read it immediately. The second chapter is about József Antall and his government. Antall was against the release of the files because 30-35 of MPs in the government parties were actually agents. According to other estimate this number may have been as many as 50.

    I assume all governments had to face the same sad reality.

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  43. There is a fundamental difference between the nazi and the communist regimes.

    The communist regimes were based on the theory of equality between people. Now we know it didn’t work out and that when these countries became totalitarian regimes (at this point ignoring their theoretical roots), many people in charge committed horrible crimes, against all of their real or imagined enemies, killing millions in the process.

    The nazi regimes were openly advocating the superiority of one group of people and openly legalized first the marginalization and then the extermination of those groups they defined as undesirable.

    Making these two occurrences of horror equivalent is wrong (in my opinion).

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  44. Louis Kovach :
    Petrovich: “The Music Box was written by Joe Eszterhazy of Cleveland. His parents had escaped
    post-war Hungary and the father always passed himself off as a left-wing newspaperman”
    His name is Eszterhas and not Eszterhazy. The father was an editor at “Magyar Futar” and wrote plays and books in Hungary before and during the war. In the US he worked at the Katolikus Magyarok Vasarnapja and published many books. I am not aware of him posing as a leftist. I am not sure if he was an Arrow Cross member, because he was also personal secretary to Istvan Antal (minister under Sztojai)who was jailed by Szalasi.

    Louis:

    I stand corrected on his name.
    However, your acuity regarding minimal facts only ‘suggests’ thoroughness without actually possessing it. To wit, Eszaterhas’ wrote an autobiography in which he clearly details
    that the father posed as a member of left-wing groups in Cleveland. The father’s living
    a lie led to the mother’s eventual suicide. I may even be wrong about his membership
    in the Arrow Cross–I read the book many years ago–but what is clear in the book is that
    the father was a rabid anti-semite during the war years in Hungary.

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  45. gdfxx :

    There is a fundamental difference between the nazi and the communist regimes.

    The communist regimes were based on the theory of equality between people. Now we know it didn’t work out and that when these countries became totalitarian regimes (at this point ignoring their theoretical roots), many people in charge committed horrible crimes, against all of their real or imagined enemies, killing millions in the process.

    The nazi regimes were openly advocating the superiority of one group of people and openly legalized first the marginalization and then the extermination of those groups they defined as undesirable.

    Making these two occurrences of horror equivalent is wrong (in my opinion).

    I’m with you on this.

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  46. But you are getting close to arguing that killing people is somehow less heinous if the people doing it are inspired by an ideology you approve of. If you feel that cold blooded murder is wrong, then I think there is an equivalence between Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany.

    I find this an interesting question, because my gut feeling is that Hitler was worse, But I’ve yet to read a convincing explanation why. And I really don’t like gdfxx’s attempt.

    Can I just add something? Someone in this thread made a throw away comment about the average not being bothered by the Csatáry business. Frankly, they have more on their plate at the moment. I was in Hungary recently, the first time for a little while, and everyone is being existentially squeezed. Pensions are being eaten into, people are being taxed into the ground and can’t pay off their loans, they are cutting back on everything and in mortal fear of losing their jobs. Things are grim. And no one I met was remotely interested in the pre-occupations of this blog (no one I met mentioned or was interested in the Horthy cult, Nyiró, Judaism etc etc.) Instead, they feel trapped by a corrupt government and mortally afraid that they could soon be on the streets. So if people are not swarming onto the streets in indignation about Csatáry, I for one can forgive them.

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  47. @Kingfisher I believe what gdfxx is saying is that Hitler’s goal was to systematically exterminate a group of people while the Stalinists got heavy handed, so to speak, to keep their power. So the difference is the original intentions. I think there’s nothing wrong with a communist. A communist with an AK-47 is the problem. But a nazi is a nazi.

    Regarding people being not bothered by the Csatary case. Well it’s not surprising in a country where nazis are in the national curriculum. Not so long ago 500k people marched behind the biggest anti-Semite of the country. On the other hand you’ve jumped the gun with you explanation. There isn’t much to be bothered by right now. Csatary is in custody.

    One other bitter remark about this existential fear. Some people seem to be very agitated and active since the perpetrator got arrested in the Kata Bandy murder in Pecs. It seems that the guy’s hyperpigmentation was enough to get them excited.

    Another disheartening “activity” (same group obviously) the comments on the kuruc.info and alike about the recent bombing in Bulgaria.

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  48. Kingfisher, let me explain what I mean:

    If the communist regimes would have ended in a society where everyone is equal, everyone is doing what their abilities are, everyone is getting everything based on their needs, and if they had achieved this without degenerating into a mass-murderous totalitarian system, I suppose this would have been acceptable to most thinking people.

    On the other hand, if the nazi regimes would have ended in a similar society after fulfilling their stated goal: extermination all the undesirables, I doubt that thinking people would have found this acceptable.

    As far as the people of Hungary caring or not about Csatary’s fate, that is not the important point. The authorities are the ones who should not only care but do everything to bring a mass murderer to justice.

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  49. Csatary under ‘house arrest’!??

    How ridiculous!!

    Of course, the average Hungarian citizen is probably saying: “Those damn Jews. They can’t leave a 97 year old alone.” Would it ever occur to them that because of this indecent old fart, people ceased to live to be 12 or 18 or 35 or 45 or 60? That those same people, young and old, died a horrific death in a gas chamber?
    \
    What Csapary deserves is to be put in a padded room with a million killer bees…

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  50. Petofi: “To wit, Eszaterhas’ wrote an autobiography in which he clearly details
    that the father posed as a member of left-wing groups in Cleveland. ”

    I wouldn’t give too much credence to the autobiography, at least parts of it. According to folks who knew them, the mother was mentally sick before committing suicide. Eszterhas junior is not totally balanced person either. You can read some Eszterhas Sr’s in the US written and published books, even on the web.They sure are not leftist sounding.

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  51. Kingfisher :
    But you are getting close to arguing that killing people is somehow less heinous if the people doing it are inspired by an ideology you approve of. If you feel that cold blooded murder is wrong, then I think there is an equivalence between Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany.
    I find this an interesting question, because my gut feeling is that Hitler was worse, But I’ve yet to read a convincing explanation why. And I really don’t like gdfxx’s attempt.
    Can I just add something? Someone in this thread made a throw away comment about the average not being bothered by the Csatáry business. Frankly, they have more on their plate at the moment. I was in Hungary recently, the first time for a little while, and everyone is being existentially squeezed. Pensions are being eaten into, people are being taxed into the ground and can’t pay off their loans, they are cutting back on everything and in mortal fear of losing their jobs. Things are grim. And no one I met was remotely interested in the pre-occupations of this blog (no one I met mentioned or was interested in the Horthy cult, Nyiró, Judaism etc etc.) Instead, they feel trapped by a corrupt government and mortally afraid that they could soon be on the streets. So if people are not swarming onto the streets in indignation about Csatáry, I for one can forgive them.

    Obviously you need to be directed towards a little reading which might highlight the differences between
    Stalinist genocide and the Hitler version. May I suggest a little perusal of eye-witness accounts of the gas chambers? It can easily be found online.
    Sure, Stalin starved millions but can the those deaths be compared to one in a gas chamber?

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  52. Petofi: “Sure, Stalin starved millions but can the those deaths be compared to one in a gas chamber?”

    Stalin killed a lot more folks than he starved. Just as an example Katyn. Mao did the same thing in China. There are estimates that the Stalin/Mao duo and their minions killed about 30 million people.
    You sohould also watch once the video “Soviet Story” to understand how Hitler and Stalin were feeding off each other. The equality routine went out the window already under Lenin and communism was a brutal fight for power by a small group of people. It may help you also to read Orlando Figes’ “A Peoples tragedy”.

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  53. I reject the argument presented often in comments about Hungarian news articles and even here, that Nazi genocide is somehow balanced by Communist genocide.That one should not mention one unless the other is mentyioned with equal force. This is nonsense. Two wrongs do not make a right. Both are crimes against humanity. Both should be prosecuted. But when a case like Csatary comes up, it should be prosecuted with full force. And if the camp commander of Recsk is found, he should be prosecuted with the same force.

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  54. There’s no doubt on the totalitarian nature of communist regimes, and the horrors they led to. To that extent, Stalin’s USSR and Pol Pot’s Cambodia are unfortunately on par with Hitler’s Germany.

    Yet there’s no need to throw casualty numbers at each other as if it was some kind of contest. Of course, separate accounts are indispensable to understand the extent of the abuses that took place over a particular period of time, in a particular geographic area. However comparing these accounts – a habit that has been steadily growing in Europe – is playing on very dangerous chords.

    First, it reduces deaths to numbers, failing to grasp the social consequences on the very structure of whole societies and communities. No society can nor should ever be described by its population count. Secondly, every accounting comparison leads to a balance, as if here we had to choose beetween the lesser of two evils. I don’t want to choose beetween two totalitarisms. I don’t want totalitarianism at all.

    Nevertheless, there is an irrevocable specificity to the Shoah and Porajmos: ethnicity, when defined by the State upon ancestry and ‘science’, is something people cannot act upon. It cannot be escaped – within the boundaries of the law of course – by acting differently. Penance, conversion, ‘reeducation’ etc. are denied by the State not ony to one individual, but to its whole lineage, past, present and future. When your mere existence becomes a crime, all that human justice stands for is erased.

    Focusing on casualties contests clearly overlooks this specificity, favouring emotional response over reason. Of course, it’s a political choice; in my opinion such a choice has never been good news.

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  55. Sackhoes C: ” And if the camp commander of Recsk is found, he should be prosecuted with the same force.”

    There were several. Is anybody looking for them? Many of the guards are on disability retirement from various Gov. companies.
    I do not believe in having a “philosophy” for extermination. Brutal killing is brutal killing irrelevant of what the killer believes.

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  56. @Louis:

    Why aren’t you looking for them ? Or maybe you tell the Hungarian government to search for them (actually I don’t know if it’s their responsibility because I don’t know where Recsk is …)

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    1. Recsk is in North East Hungary. The real question is what was Recsk. It was the most notorious Communist prison labor camp that existed during the hight of the Stalin/Rakosi period, from 1950 to 1953. Google it, man….

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  57. wolfi: ” I don’t know where Recsk is …)”

    You have said a lot by this statement. A number of them was interviewed for books published in Hungary, so they can easily be found. So far any post 1990 trial of communist sadists ended up with not guilty verdicts.
    Maybe some of those judges should be retired……

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  58. Sackhoes Contributor :

    Recsk is in North East Hungary. The real question is what was Recsk. It was the most notorious Communist prison labor camp that existed during the hight of the Stalin/Rakosi period, from 1950 to 1953. Google it, man….

    Wolfi didn’t have to know what Recsk was. He was a school child in Germany at the time.

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  59. Louis Kovach :
    Petofi: “Sure, Stalin starved millions but can the those deaths be compared to one in a gas chamber?”
    Stalin killed a lot more folks than he starved. Just as an example Katyn. Mao did the same thing in China. There are estimates that the Stalin/Mao duo and their minions killed about 30 million people.
    You sohould also watch once the video “Soviet Story” to understand how Hitler and Stalin were feeding off each other. The equality routine went out the window already under Lenin and communism was a brutal fight for power by a small group of people. It may help you also to read Orlando Figes’ “A Peoples tragedy”.

    I agree. SO, how do you feel about Orban is praising the Chinese regime, and making open comments about how Hungary should follow the example of China?

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  60. Louis Kovach :
    Sackhoes C: ” And if the camp commander of Recsk is found, he should be prosecuted with the same force.”
    There were several. Is anybody looking for them? Many of the guards are on disability retirement from various Gov. companies.
    I do not believe in having a “philosophy” for extermination. Brutal killing is brutal killing irrelevant of what the killer believes.

    Kovach, We are talking about here about a killer that actually someone found, and that justice should be served on that particular killer. You are totally welcome to support any other groups to look out for killers, communist killers, nazi killers, mass murderers, and so forth. Nobody tries to stop you and anyone who you support or not to go and find anyone who committed any crimes. When they find someone, maybe Eva will talk about on her blog, maybe not. Now, that they found this killer (not because you or the Hungarian neo-nazis gave their permission, but they just went ahead) should be justice served or should justice only be served when all criminals arrested at once?

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  61. Eva S. Balogh :

    Ron :
    Breaking
    FG will be not charged in the Sukuro case. Not enough evidence. Five others will be/are charged.
    http://index.hu/belfold/2012/07/20/megszuntettek_a_nyomozast_gyurcsany_ellen/

    Just read. Viktor Orbán must be very sad. He was hoping but even Polt’s prosecutors couldn’t find any evidence. The others will not be found guilty. Mark my word.

    I guess Orban could not replace the judges soon enough. Probably now this will become a Day of National Mourning, just like Trianon. Wait ’til Orban orders the church bells to be rang.

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  62. Some1: “I agree. SO, how do you feel about Orban is praising the Chinese regime, and making open comments about how Hungary should follow the example of China?”

    I do not belive in “inherited” guilt, in which many of the blog participants do. It was not the current China or the current Russia that committed the crimes. Those current regimes unfortunately are not prosecuting the criminals, but they are not the ones who committed the crimwes.

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    1. Well, perhaps in Russia you can make a case for a regime change, but not in China. Yes, new men at the top may have taken their turn, but it is the same Communist regime that we know and loath, that etched their rteputation into our hearts at Tienmen square.

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  63. Some1 “I guess Orban could not replace the judges soon enough. Probably now this will become a Day of National Mourning, just like Trianon. Wait ’til Orban orders the church bells to be rang.”

    Let me see your logic, the LMP claims Gyurcsany participation in the “crime” and requests judicial action….but Orban is the one who the LMP up to it?????

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  64. Dr Balogh: “Just read. Viktor Orbán must be very sad. He was hoping but even Polt’s prosecutors couldn’t find any evidence. The others will not be found guilty. Mark my word.”

    An Andras Shiffer an LMP member filed the charges against Gyurcsany which was dismissed, and you ascribe the case to Orban….faulty sequencing.

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  65. Louis Kovach, what is exactly current China? China is still a communist country led by the very Communist Party responsible for example, firing into demonstrating students on Tiananmen Square in 1989.

    Also, you are not too bothered by the fact that the Chinese government oppress minorities and anybody who opposes the government or the Communist Party, censors the press and the internet, and have a dismal human rights record.

    Human rights in China: http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-china

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  66. An: “Louis Kovach, what is exactly current China? China is still a communist country led by the very Communist Party responsible for example, firing into demonstrating students on Tiananmen Square in 1989.”

    There are, unfortunately, many countries claiming Chines like celestial past who mistreat their minorities. I was talking about the unabashed killing that took place under Mao. The current regime is not the same, even if the party name is the same. I have been to Tibet and to Sinkiang and I am aware of the shortcomings of the regime regarding many of their minorities.

    Extending territory under claimed ancestral pretenses, certainly is diminishing Tibetian culture, but again such acts are done by supposedly democratic counries also.

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  67. I know that you are so frightened of free speech that you will immediately spike my comment.
    At any rate, how dare you call Mr. Csatary a nazi war criminal without a definitive sentence? Would you call all your commie turned liberal friends in Hungary criminals immediately after charges are laid?

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    1. “At any rate, how dare you call Mr. Csatary a nazi war criminal without a definitive sentence? Would you call all your commie turned liberal friends in Hungary criminals immediately after charges are laid?”

      Dumbar, you’re a dumb ass.

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  68. Louis Kovach :

    Petofi: “To wit, Eszaterhas’ wrote an autobiography in which he clearly details
    that the father posed as a member of left-wing groups in Cleveland. ”

    I wouldn’t give too much credence to the autobiography, at least parts of it. According to folks who knew them, the mother was mentally sick before committing suicide. Eszterhas junior is not totally balanced person either. You can read some Eszterhas Sr’s in the US written and published books, even on the web.They sure are not leftist sounding.

    Well, well, well. I just happen to find something on István Eszterhás in Randolph L. Braham’s book, The Politics of Genocide (vol. 1511, 513, 519). I happen to have the Hungarian edition but the book has an excellent list of personal and geographic names. So, those of you who have access to the English edition shouldn’t have any trouble finding the references.

    Good old Joe was unfortunately right. Papa Eszterhás was a Hungarian Nazi who was in charge of two important departments of the Magyar Királyi Nemzetvédelmi Propagandahivatal established in 1942. His job was to influence public opinion in favor of the Axis powers. Especially after the German occupation the anti-Semitism of the office became naturally intensified. Eszterhás was also responsible for the press as commissioner serving in the prime minister’s office. He and his superior was Mihály Kolosváry-Borcsa who was executed in 1946 for war crimes were responsible for the “right” information to reach the Hungarian public. Pretty important position. Eszterhás was in the thick of things in the 1940s.

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  69. Huhh, Petőfi, Louis, where should I start.

    Petofi: “Sure, Stalin starved millions but can the those deaths be compared to one in a gas chamber?”

    I’ve been delaying replying to this to be as calm as possible but I still can’t help but think, that you are a truly disgusting human being mister. I can imagine our Petrovich walking in some village during the Holodomor telling to a starving kid who hasn’t eaten for a few weeks to stop complaining, and praise god for not being in a gas chamber. If I wasn’t this civilized I’d say I wish you’ll be presented the chance to choose which one would you like for yourself…but wait that’s an easy one for you as starvation is a piece of cake for you apparently.

    Louis: “It was not the current China or the current Russia that committed the crimes. ”

    I see now that An has already taken care of this, I might just add that this is the same regime that imprisoned and tortured dozens/hundreds of Tibetians. But that’s such an inconvenient truth for OV when it comes to business, that the pro-Tibet protesters were miraculously going through some random inspections coincidentally with the visit of our kind good commie friends…

    Wolfi: “Csatary has been sentenced already, around 50 years ago …”

    Even though the case seems very clear to me here too (I’m not at all convinced about the Képiró case for example), that sentence wasn’t worth any more than the paper it was written on. The Czechoslovakians conducted an endless sequence of show trials against various German and Hungarian officials and politicians regardless of the fact that this time they seem to have actually had a real basis for it.

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  70. For those of you, who read Hungarian, here is an interesting link http://www.parameter.sk/comment/32600

    The gist of the somewhat convoluted article is that the Rakosi/Kadar regimes’ secret service was known to co-opt rightwing war criminals and blackmail them. The author raises this possibility with the Csatary case and points to the fact that Csatary repatriated from Canada with prior written assurances from both the Slovak and Hungarian authorities that he will not be brought to justice if he returns. The author feels this may have been in exchange for prior services rendered, but the outing of Csatary by the Wiesenthal Center and The Sun forced their hand. He also points to the fact that Hungary has to this day did not make full disclosure of its secret service dealings during the Communist regime.

    Please note, I know nothing about the website, which seems to be in Slovakia. I am also not familiar with the author, but he claims to be a regular contributor to the Hungarian publication, ES (Elete es Irodalom), which is a reputable weekly. magazine, as far as I know.

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  71. Jano :
    Huhh, Petőfi, Louis, where should I start.
    Petofi: “Sure, Stalin starved millions but can the those deaths be compared to one in a gas chamber?”
    I’ve been delaying replying to this to be as calm as possible but I still can’t help but think, that you are a truly disgusting human being mister. I can imagine our Petrovich walking in some village during the Holodomor telling to a starving kid who hasn’t eaten for a few weeks to stop complaining, and praise god for not being in a gas chamber. If I wasn’t this civilized I’d say I wish you’ll be presented the chance to choose which one would you like for yourself…but wait that’s an easy one for you as starvation is a piece of cake for you apparently.

    Boys! Take it easy … Let’s just take one genocide at a time … This doesn’t lead anywhere. I don’t think it’s a different experience watching your children dying from starvation in front of your eyes or watching your children disappearing in gas chamber.

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    1. It is useless to compare different crimes against humanity, as if the outcome would excuse the crime. The premeditated death of one person is murder and the punishment for that life inprisonment or death. It does not matter if a person serves 10,000 consecutive prison sentences or 20,000 or is he is hanged 10,000 times or 20,000 times. Both Hitler and Stalin – and the people who willingly supported them and carried out their wishes – are guilty of multiple murders.

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  72. Sackhoes, Mutt: This is where I stand too, for some reason I’m always kind of enraged when people try to do this comparison. It’s just disrespectful and tastelessly offensive to innocent people whose life was brutally taken away and makes some of their tragedy of second class. Every life is equal and the mere fact that states have exterminated them in an industrialized way is an extent of crime where there are no levels, no better or worse any more. Of course, there are features that are characteristic to specific ones and apologists can hang onto to excuse or make their favorite genocide look less severe, but that’s just nauseating.

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  73. Sackhoes Contributor :

    For those of you, who read Hungarian, here is an interesting link http://www.parameter.sk/comment/32600

    The gist of the somewhat convoluted article is that the Rakosi/Kadar regimes’ secret service was known to co-opt rightwing war criminals and blackmail them.

    Please note, I know nothing about the website, which seems to be in Slovakia. I am also not familiar with the author, but he claims to be a regular contributor to the Hungarian publication, ES (Elete es Irodalom), which is a reputable weekly. magazine, as far as I know.

    Well, my own post was based on the Széky’s article on Parameter. I even gave the link.

    As for Parameter, it is a very prestigious Slovak-Hungarian site and Széky is a columnist for ÉS.

    But I agree, the article is convoluted. Kutruczka’s own story is much more interesting. The case of Bosnyák having some connection to Képíró and Csatáry, I think, is too far-fetched.

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  74. Jano: “I see now that An has already taken care of this, I might just add that this is the same regime that imprisoned and tortured dozens/hundreds of Tibetians. But that’s such an inconvenient truth for OV when it comes to business, that the pro-Tibet protesters were miraculously going through some random inspections coincidentally with the visit of our kind good commie friends”

    I am sorry, but that was not the issue. Earlier, I have stated that the Stalin/Mao duo killed at least 30 million folks. I repeat, it was not the current regimes who did it. This does not mean that either country’s current regimes are “kosher”.

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  75. Louis: What was not the issue? The evil monks launched an invasion against the peaceful democratically elected government of China?

    “I repeat, it was not the current regimes who did it.” Just as Károly Grósz had nothing to do with 56, Kádár didn’t have to do anything with Rákosi’s crimes… Btw, just as An raised it? Who the hell ordered that tank to turn that poor protester into a speedhump back at Tienanmen square? Or again I assume Hu Jin-Tao has nothing to feel guilty about what happened under Yang Shankun…. jesus… I almost feel like being the successor of a ruthless mass murderer dictator. I just take over and start afresh, how easy it is in your world..

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  76. Oh my, I haven’t spoken English in two months (yes I’m back for the summer, can’t help it, I just love this place so much), sorry for the unusual amount of Hunglish

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  77. Jano: “What was not the issue?”
    What was not the issue is the time since Mao died. Please believe me I am very familiar with Chinese non-democracy by having been there numerous times.
    I was specifically referring to activites during Stalin and Mao! Not the current regimes’ times.

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  78. Jano, just ignore Louis Kovach. He does the same with stuff that doesn’t fit in his word view (for example, we both brought up 1989 that was not during Mao’s time)…I have found having discussions with him quite pointless.

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