Region: Americans Sue Hungarian Railway

An unusual class action suit was submitted to the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago last Tuesday. Ninety-six descendants of Hungarian Holocaust victims are asking the Hungarian State Railway (MÁV) for USD 7.92 billion in compensation and USD 1 billion in punitive damages from the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) for its role in deporting Hungarian Jews in 1944. The amount corresponds to 7% of the Hungarian GDP.

The billion-dollar sum was arrived at by the solicitors Anthony D’Amato, Robert James Pavich and John J. Pavich, signatories to the complaint, based on the estimated value of the property of the Hungarian Jews. According to the complaint, a “recent revaluation” of the Jewish assets in Hungary places the figure between 7 and 12 billion pengő. The complaint notes that at the time a pengő was convertible into 20 cents in US currency, and estimates the total value of Jewish wealth at USD 3 billion (the solicitors have apparently made a miscalculation according to proper use of the exchange rate USD 3 billion would amount to 15 billion pengő). MÁV, it is claimed, “plundered” 8% of that amount, i.e. USD 240 million. According to the complaint, that sum is today worth USD 7.92 billion and must be returned…

Read more at The Budapest Times.

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