Hungarian war criminal dies at 98

Hungarian war criminal Laszlo Csatary died while awaiting trial for torturing Jews and deporting thousands to their deaths during World War II.

According to the French news agency AFP, Csatary died in a hospital in Budapest Aug. 10 of complications connected to pneumonia. He was 98.

Csatary, a former police commander of the Kassa internment camp in Slovakia, was sentenced to death in absentia for his crimes in 1948 by a Czechoslovakian court after he fled to Canada. He was deported back to Hungary in 1997 and arrested last year in Budapest.

“The fact that a well-known war criminal whose Nazi past was exposed in Canada could live undisturbed for so long in the Hungarian capital raises serious questions as to the commitment of the Hungarian authorities to hold their own Holocaust criminals accountable,” the director of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Efraim Zuroff, said in a statement Aug. 12.

Slovakia had asked that Csatary be extradited to face additional charges, but Hungary declined the request. — jta


Holocaust expert Elisabeth Maxwell


Elisabeth Maxwell, an expert on the Holocaust and widow of the media tycoon Robert Maxwell, has died.

The New York Times reported that she died Aug. 7 in Dordogne, France, quoting her daughter, Ghislaine. She was 92.

Maxwell, who was not Jewish, devoted her adult life to Holocaust education and Jewish-Christian relations. She was the editor of two books on the Holocaust and wrote her autobiography in 1994.

She was married to newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell for 46 years until his death amid mysterious circumstances in 1991.

Maxwell said she discovered that more than 300 of her husband’s relatives had died in the Holocaust when she was creating a family tree for the benefit of their children.

“When it was finished, I gave it to Yad Vashem,” she told the London Jewish Chronicle in 2005.  — jta