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Hungarian Holocaust case to be judged in Chicago

July 23rd, 2011

Magyar Hírlap finds the decision of a US court to allow descendants of Holocaust victims to sue  Hungarian State Railways for the plunder of Jewish possessions during World War II outrageous. The right wing commentator thinks that trials of this kind can only play into the hands of anti-Semites.

Last year, 95 descendants of Holocaust victims sued the Hungarian State Railway Company (MÁV) for compensation for losses suffered during the deportations in 1944, when railway personnel allegedly stole their possessions. A Chicago judge has now ruled that the plaintiffs can proceed with their claim in court.

In an editorial in Magyar Hírlap, Miklós Apáti calls the judge’s decision “insane”, arguing that it was impossible for the railway staff to rob deportees, as any belongings of any value had already been taken from them, before they boarded the trains. (In point of fact, the judge has just ruled that his court is competent to consider the case, and has not issued any ruling on its merits.)

Quoting the chairman of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Hungary, Apáti recalls that compensation on the part of the Hungarian State to the Jewish community is already underway. The commentator also quotes two historians, both descendants of Holocaust survivors, who found that the allegations submitted by the Chicago plaintiffs to the court are “false and contradicted by documented facts and by survivors’ recollections. These groundless allegations, riddled with errors and distorted facts, offend the memory of the Holocaust and provide new arguments to anti-Semites”.

Apáti adds that the affair may breed new anti-Semites as well.

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