D’Amato Sues Hungarian Railways for Holocaust-Era Complicity

by Julian Ku

I don’t know about this lawsuit, presumably filed under the Alien Tort Statute, but it should be interesting.*

A Northwestern University law professor has sued the Hungarian State Railways on behalf of Jews deported to camps during World War II.

Anthony D’Amato, who teaches international law, is seeking compensation for property stolen from Hungarian Jews, the Chicago Tribune reports. In a brief filed last week in federal court in Chicago, D’Amato said the state railways were complicit in the Holocaust and that Jews leaving Hungary for Auschwitz and other concentration camps had to leave their suitcases behind when they were loaded into boxcars.

My prediction: this suit goes nowhere. But maybe I should take a look at the complaint first. Does anyone have a copy by any chance?

*UPDATE: Thanks to reader C. Jenks for a copy of the complaint here.  It is pretty well done (it even includes photos). But it faces some serious obstacles.  One interesting problem: the lawsuit is against a state-owned corporation, and the idea is that this state-corporation’s immunity has been waived by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. This is a tricky argument, and I expect this to be the main focus of the dissent.

http://opiniojuris.org/2010/02/17/damato-sues-hungarian-railways-for-holocaust-era-complicity/

One Response

  1. Well, I have no proper background in ATS litigation or US tort claims in general but this lawsuit – with all due respect to Prof. D’Amato – seems to be anything but well done.
    Apart from the obvious problem of jure imperii acts, it refers to the 1948 Genocide Convention to qualify a 1944 event. The historical background of the lawsuit seems rather patchy, too, and what is even worse, according to recent reports most alleged plaintiffs do not even know about this legal procedure which is somewhat odd.

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