Report: Ministry says Hungarian Holocaust cases should be heard here

Issues

Hungaryʼs National Development Ministry said today that a lawsuit involving Hungarian Holocaust survivors living outside of Hungary must be tried in Hungarian courts, in reaction to a U.S. appeals court decision Friday that resurrected the 2010 case, online daily mno.hu (Magyar Nemzet) said today.

The case, brought by the Holocaust survivors against the state of Hungary, state-owned railway company MÁV and Rail Cargo Hungária, the legal successor of MÁV, argued that the defendants willingly took part in the deportation of Jews and the confiscation of their property during the Holocaust.

In a statement issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals last Friday, the American judge said that the case could potentially be shifted to Hungary. “We leave it to the district court to consider on remand whether, as a matter of international comity, it should refrain from exercising jurisdiction over those claims until the plaintiffs exhaust domestic remedies in Hungary,” the U.S. judge said in the relevant court documents published online.

The plaintiffs had demanded $5 million in compensation for material damages in the original case brought before the court in 2010. The case was dismissed in 2014 when the Washington D.C. federal district court granted Hungary the right to terminate the case on the grounds that the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947 had already handled compensation related to such claims, the Hungarian daily reported.

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