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Most Wanted Nazi Dies Free

Sandor Kepiro died in a hospital in Hungary at the age of 97
By: Omer Shachnai
Published: September 4th, 2011 in News » World
Sandor Kepiro

Sandor Kepiro died in a hospital in Hungary at the age of 97

For a long time, Sandor Kepiro, was considered number one on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war criminals. He was put to trial this year, but was surprisingly acquitted. Yesterday he died a free man in a hospital in Budapest, Hungary, without paying the price for his crimes.

In World War II, Kepiro was based in Northern Serbia, which was occupied at the time by Nazi Germany’s ally, Hungary. He was involved in arresting and rounding of over 1,000 locals in Novi Sad, Serbia, which were shot to death in response to Partisan actions.

Kepiro’s part was to see that no “pure Hungarians” were accidentally killed. He was also the captain of a Gendarmerie unit which moved door-to-door, while exterminating people in their own homes.

He was already sentenced to terms of 10 and 14 years in 1944 and 1946 respectively, but avoided prison by fleeing to Argentina, where he lived until the late 90’s. In 1996, after the fall of Communism, he returned to Hungary where he lived peacefully before being tracked down by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in 2006.

In May, he was charged with involvement in the killing of 1,200 locals (about 400 Jews and 800 Serbs) during the aforementioned anti-partisan raid in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, on Jan. 23, 1942. However, in a move that surprised the whole world, he was acquitted in July.

Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said in response: “Kepiro’s acquittal was not only a terrible travesty of justice which insulted the memory of the victims and encouraged those who seek to deny Hungarian participation in Holocaust crimes, but also was in direct contradiction to the evidence collected over the years, most of which was the basis for his original conviction in a Hungarian court in 1944.”

Related articles: Sandor Kepiro, Simon Wiesenthal, Nazi, Holocaust, Germany, Jewish
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