RE: Lawsuit against Hungary and its national railroad seeking to hold Hungary accountable for rounding up and deporting Hungarian Jews to death camps, while systematically robbing them of everything they owned.
This week in Jerusalem the world will mark the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz Death Camp at the World Holocaust Forum at the invitation of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Among those countries scheduled to attend is Hungary to be represented by its President János Áder. This year also marks the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of the Budapest Ghetto in which 70,000 Jews survived the Holocaust, while some 500,000 of their brothers and sisters were sent to their death by the Hungarian government on trains owned and operated by the Hungarian National Railroad (MÁV). Virtually alone among the nations that aided and abetted Hitler’s “final solution,” Hungary has evaded responsibility and denied accountability for its role in the genocide of Hungarian Jewry. Hungary has never been brought to justice for its crimes.
In 2010, a group of Hungarian Jewish survivors from the United States, Israel and other countries initiated a class action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Hungary and its national railroad seeking to hold Hungary accountable for rounding up and deporting Hungarian Jews to death camps, while systematically robbing them of everything they owned. That case, Rosalie Simon v. Republic of Hungary, has twice been dismissed by the lower court on technical legal grounds advanced by Hungary’s lawyers relating to Hungary’s “sovereign immunity.” However, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, has now twice reversed the lower court and re-instated the claims of survivors. That court held that Hungary’s acts in World War II constituted genocide and should be treated as such under the law.
Hungary has now asked the United State Supreme Court to review the case, Republic of Hungary v. Simon, No. 18-1447. The Survivors have asked the Supreme Court to deny review and allow the case to continue in the district court. A decision could be forthcoming as early as this week together with a companion case involving the Federal Republic of Germany, Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, Nos. 19-351 & 19-520.
Survivor’s lawsuit is probably the longest pending and thus far most successful Holocaust litigation ever instituted in the United States or anywhere in the World. As the World is about to mark the liberation of the death camp where the majority of Hungarian Jewry perished, it is more than appropriate for the World to remember that Hungary has never accounted for the central role in the genocide of the Jewish People. As Marc Zell, an American-Israeli international lawyer and member of the legal team representing the Survivors said today, “In a few days here in Jerusalem many world leaders will rightly proclaim ‘Never Again!’ The survivors of the Hungarian Holocaust ask only for … ‘Justice Now!’”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
|Marc Zell, Adv.
Zell, Aron & Co.
|Charles S. Fax, Esq.
Rifkin, Weiner Livingston, LLC