Top War Crimes Suspect Charged In Hungary

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewslife 

Sandor Kepiro has denied involvement in a massacre.
Sandor Kepiro has denied involvement in a massacre.


BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- Hungarian prosecutors say they have charged a former Hungarian military officer with war crimes in the World War Two massacre of up to 1,200 civilians in neighboring Serbia. The decision to charge Sandor Kepiro follows pressure from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is searching for Nazi war criminals around the world.

Hungarian prosecutors confirmed Monday, February 14, that Kepiro has been indicted for involvement in murdering over one thousand civilians in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, during World War Two. "In January 1942 the defendant, as an officer of the gendarme, participated in the illegal massacre of unarmed and innocent people in Vojvodina," said Gabriella Skoda, the spokesperson of the Budapest prosecutor's office.

Prosecutors say Kepiro, who will turn 97 this week, ordered his patrol to shoot civilians to death between January 21 and January 23, 1942, near the Danube river. The bloodshed became known as "the massacre of Novi Sad", named after the city where the killings took place.

He escaped to Argentina, but in 2006 the Jerusalem-based Simon Wiesenthal Center revealed that he was now living in Budapest. Prosecutors launched an investigation into the case a year later and officials say the current charges are based on documents obtained from archives in Hungary and Serbia.

MOST WANTED

Kepiro has been on of the most wanted list of the Wiesenthal Center, which is working to track down war criminals such as Kepiro, explained its director Efraim Zuroff. "He was in charge of the round ups of hundreds of civilians living in a section of the city of Novi Sad. Who were then taken, most of them, were marched to the embankment," the Naz5-hunter said.

Experts say Hungarian forces rounded up as many as 1,200 people, mainly Jews, Serbs and Roma, also known as Gypsies. They killed them with machine-gun fire on the shores of the river Danube. On Monday, February 14, Kepiro denied he committed any crimes. He made it clear he was bed-ridden and wanted to return to his family in Argentina as an innocent man. But when asked earlier by a reporter whether he regretted participating in the raids, Kepiro said: "No I don't regret it, it was my obligation."

In another interview he admitted that it was his job to supervise gendarme patrols in a three-day raid against alleged partisans in Novi Sad in 1942. Kepiro's alleged crimes happened when Hungary was a close ally of Nazi Germany. Hungarians also participated in killing some 600,000 Hungarian Jews and 50,000 Roma in the Holocaust.

The Wiesenthal Center says the question is now whether "the Hungarian Government has the political will that justice will be achieved." The answer will depend on the outcome of the trial. Hungarian prosecutors caution however that they don't known when the Budapest Court will begin its procedures against Kepiro, one of the last, still living, suspected war criminals.

If convicted, he can be sentenced to life imprisonment.

6 thoughts on “Top War Crimes Suspect Charged In Hungary

  1. Seriously, my comment on this — how can someone say “they were only Jews,” when millions were sacrificed at the hands of Ukranians, Nazis, etc. They were human beings, who had their entire lives taken away from them. Lining up thousands of individuals and shooting them was par for the course for them. Remember, lest we forget. I think some of these responders need to read The Sunflower by Simon Weisenthal. What an insight you will get as to the heart of an individual, not just a Jew. Mr. Weistenthal spent his entire life seeking justice for not only the Jews that were killed, but the invalids, children, gypsies, and the like. I think it is important for ignorance to not oversight the fact that the Holocaust was the largest historical massacre in the history of the world. Even at 90 some years old, this man murdered and regardless of his age, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the laws. I am a Christian, but am very supportive of Yad Vashem and Mr. Weisenthal’s continued works through his successors in finding these perpetrators. Perhaps you should take a tour of one of the Simon Weisenthal Holocaust Museums of Tolerance and sit in the gas chamber and feel the souls penetrate you.

  2. Dear Mr. Kenneth T. Tellis,

    We are a Budapest news agency with no pay masters in Washington DC. In fact, we are an independent news agency.

    I am not picking and choosing, just covering a news story in a country where we are based: Hungary.

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  3. Stefan,

    You can make a thousand excuses for your inability to react, but under cover of your reasons. lies the fact that you may well be in the pay of those whom you refuse to take to task.

    i do not make excuses for any War Criminal, Hungarian or otherwise, but you are without question doing the bidding of your masters in Washington,DC. Need I say more?

    i do not have to be nice to anyone when I am in the right, which is in your case. So, please do not thonk that you have done me any favours.

    I will contnue to seek the prosecution of all War Criminals, regardless of their NATIONALITY. But you seek to pick and choosev, which leads me to believe that you have a hidden agenda. Perhaps it might not dawn on you that I seek no personal gain, as might you.

    I have no regard for hypocrisy.

    Yours sincerely in truth,

    Kenneth T. Tellis
    Canada

  4. Dear Mr. Tellis,

    First of all nobody can force us to react quickly. But I want to be nice. The answer is very simple: This was a story about the war crimes suspect in Hungary. We can have a debate on the other persons you mentioned, but that was not the theme of this newspiece. Plus: because something else may be wrong does not mean, critics would argue, that Hungary should not prosecute those held responsible for participating in one of the darkest chapters in human history.

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  5. ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Kenneth V. Tellis
    Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
    Subject: Don’t pick and choose your War Criminals
    To: BOSNEWSLIFE

    Do you at Bos News really think the world is so stupid not to see the
    direction that you have convienently taken with regard to War
    Criminals?

    You make no mention of U.S. President George W. Bush who deliberately
    falsifed documents on the Weapons of Mass Destruction that Iraqi
    President Saddam Hussein of Iraq possessed.  Then used depleted
    URANIUM artillary shells on the civilian populatiob killing at the
    very least 4,000.000 Irawi civilians.  Is that not a War Croime in
    your view, or you are afraid to take action lest the CIA has you all
    killed?

    Then there is the bombing of Serbian civilian targerts by NATO air
    forces on the orders of that SEX Maniac U.S. President William
    Jefferson Clinton in which over 40,000 Serbian civilians were were
    killed, not to menytion the bombing of the Embassy of the Peoples
    Republic of CHINA in Belgrade.  Why have you not asked for a War
    Crimes trial for Bill Clinton?  Oh!  It must be fear of your own skins
    that makes for your avoidance of a War Crimes TRIAL.

    How about a War Crimes trial for Heinz Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary
    of State that ordered the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador
    Allende and the murder of 29,000 innocent civilians, men, women and
    children on his say-so?  Surely their crimes were no different to
    those carried out by the Nazis in Europe, were they?  Now why have you
    avoided any action against the worst War Criminals since World War II,
    unless you yourself are in bed with these murderser.

    Now I demand answers from you at BOSS NEWS, not excuses, and be sure
    to make that QUICK.  Because I do not like being given the run around.

    Kenneth T, Tellis, Canada

  6. ((BosNewsLife received the following anti-Semitic message from Goy, adding to our concerns that more people may think this way. The following remark underscores the reasons why Jewish people in Hungary remain concerned about their future))

    You let this poor man go! Und zwar, immediately! After all, they were only Jews. :) Hi.

    ((BosNewsLife totally disagrees. We have published the comment entirely as we believe in freedom of expression and for reasons mentioned above.))

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