Holocaust Victims Sue Hungarian Railroad

Survivors, heirs seek $240 million for stolen property
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2010 3:00 PM CST
Holocaust Victims Sue Hungarian Railroad
Victims of the Buchenwald concentration camp, liberated by the American troops of the 80th Division.    (Getty Images)

Hungarian survivors of the Holocaust and the heirs of those killed are suing the state railroad for complicity in the Nazi genocide. The suit, which seeks class-action status, seeks $240 million for the theft of the victims' property and $1 billion in punitive damages. It's being filed by a Northwestern University law professor, reports the Chicago Tribune.

When the victims were unloaded off the trains, "railroad employees and their friends leaped upon the piles of suitcases, tearing them open with knives and pliers, and grabbing every valuable item," the suit says. The law professor acknowledges that a civil case for damages 7 decades after the fact is a long shot. But recent lawsuits against Switzerland and European life insurance firms for their actions during the Holocaust have succeeded. (More Hungary stories.)

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