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Nazi collaborator walks free in Hungary (Voice of Russia, Russia)
Voice of Russia, 19.07.2011

A Hungarian man accused of involvement in a notorious 1942 massacre has been acquitted in a verdict that shocked many around the world. Including a prominent Moscow-based historian, Alexander Dyukov.

On Monday the Metropolitan Court in Budapest cleared Sandor Kepiro, 97, of all charges related to the slaughter of around 1,200 Jews, gypsies and Serbs in the Serbian town of Novi Sad.

Kepiro, a gendarme captain at the time of the massacre, had been charged with responsibility for the deaths of 36 Jews and Serbs and involvement in mass-scale executions in Hungary in 1944.

The acquittal was a slap in the face of human rights activists who had fought for years to bring to justice Kepiro, who at one point topped the list of most wanted Nazis. After the fall of the Third Reich in 1945 Sandor Kepiro fled to Argentina and returned to Hungary only in 1996.

Alexander Dyukov sees the acquittal of the long-sought war criminal as politically motivated.

"With the rightwing politicians increasingly on the rise in Hungary, I’m really not surprised at all… They recently gave a jail sentence to another Nazi collaborator – death camp guard Ivan Demyanyuk and even though this aging and ailing man will not spend a long time behind bars, the very fact that he was brought to justice is gratifying and means that crimes against humanity must be punished no matter how long ago they were committed…"

The scandalous decision to let go a Nazi criminal is fresh proof of the Hungarian leaders burning desire to shake off their “Soviet past” and re-write history. Suffice it to mention the Budapest authorities’ plans to rename two of the city’s main squares – Moscow Square and Roosevelt Square - to “something more Hungarian”. And also to move a monument to Soviet Liberators Soldiers, overlooking the Freedom Square, to some less populous place…

Another glaring example of such unholy attempts to rewrite our not-so-distant past and the history of the Second World War – something the European Union is so apparently holding out for – is the much-publicized trial in Latvia of the WW2 guerrilla fighter Vasily Kononov who was tried for allegedly killing several Latvians during the war. Kononov denied the charge saying his unit executed a group of Nazi collaborators. The whole case then went before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which found Kononov guilty. The veteran appealed the sentence but died on March 31, 2011 aged 89, never living to be acquitted…

Alexander Dyukov believes that in its much-trumpeted effort to restore historical justice the European Union is playing a very self-serving political game where Nazi lickspittles walk free, while innocent people are handed tough sentences and branded as criminals…

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