Holocaust survivors sue Hungarian railway in US court
by: AFP Updated: 12/Feb/2010 00:15
WASHINGTON (AFP)---A group of survivors and descendants of victims of the Holocaust victims of the Holocaust are suing the Hungarian state railroad company in US court for its role in transporting Jews to the Auschwitz death camp.
The class action suit was filed Tuesday in a US district court in Chicago by attorneys representing the group of 95 plaintiffs.
The suit, seen by AFP, seeks 1.24 billion dollars in compensation and punitive damages.
According to the document, the Hungarian railroad company "knowingly provided the trains for delivering 437,000 Jews to their death in Auschwitz" between March and October 1944.
Railroad employees are accused of "looting the plaintiffs' possessions, valuables, heirlooms, stock certificates, currency and jewelry from the plaintiffs' luggage.
«Without the trains provided by (the defendant), hundreds of thousands of Jews could not have been transported to Auschwitz," the suit charges. T
The plaintiffs are asking for 240 million dollars for the stolen property and one billion dollars "as punitive damages reflecting the heinous and zealous participation by the defendants in genocide.
"Even though discussion of money is necessarily crass in the context of the unspeakable evil that was inflicted upon the Holocaust victims, nevertheless the law is powerless to do anything other than to obtain financial restitution," it said.
According to the plaintiffs, by US law the Hungarian railroad company can be sued if it is "engaged in commercial activity in the United States.
"This final requirement is satisfied by the fact that the defendant sells tickets and passes for its railways through its agents in the United States," the document reads.
In the period 1940-45 some 1.3 million people perished at Auschwitz, 1.1 million of them Jews from across occupied Europe.
Here's something of a treat from Primo Levi, who was there.
In regard to the Hungarian Jews' deportation to Auschwitz, Levi writes in an apparently non-fiction text that the place was chock full of them, an observation that hardly sqares with their extermination. Please see enclosure, pdf of p. 25 of Primo Levi, Lilit e altri racconti, Turin, Einaudi, 1981.
Memo From England:
What's next ? Demanding cash from God on the grounds He supplied the air the Germans breathed ?