Holocaust reparations case gets green light
November 24, 2019
The possibility that Hungarian Holocaust survivors might for the first time have their day in court to press for Holocaust reparations inched a bit closer with a ruling by a U.S. federal appellate court that survivors may sue the Hungarian government and its national railroad in the United States.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a lower court ruling that held that Hungary cannot be sued because of the Foreign Sovereignty Immunities Act. But the appeals court said the act does not apply because of an exception in the act that permits suits in cases in which plaintiffs’ property was taken.
The suit alleges that following the Nazi occupation of Hungary in March 1944, “560,000 Hungarian Jews — 68 percent of Hungary’s pre-war Jewish population — were killed in one year. … In 1944 alone, a concerted campaign by the Hungarian government marched nearly half a million Jews into Hungarian railroad stations, stripped them of all their personal property and possessions, forced them onto trains, and transported them to death camps like Auschwitz, where 90 percent of them were murdered upon arrival.”