January 16th In Seal Beach History

On this date in 1988, former Croatian interior minister Andrija Artukovic, also known as The Butcher of The Balkans, died in a Zagreb prison hospital in Yugoslavia. Artukovic had been convicted of murdering 700,000 Jews, Croats, Serbs and Gypsies during World War II.

After the war, Artukovic had traveled under an assumed name into the United States and settled in Seal Beach. He managed to resist extradition for thirty-six years, but was finally returned to Yugoslavia in late 1986 where he had been found guilty of war crimes earlier in the year and sentenced to death. The sentence was never carried out due to his ill-health and he died two years later.

– Michael Dobkins

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