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Nov 2005 Journal

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Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Hungarian Gold Train

The proposed distribution of monies in the $25.5 million (approx. £14m) Hungarian Gold Train Settlement was approved by a Miami-based judge at the end of September. The litigation was brought against the US government by Hungarian Holocaust survivors for the plundering of an estimated $200 million (approx £111m) of their treasures in gold, jewellery, Oriental rugs, fabrics, personal possessions and artworks by US army troops during the Second World War.

Under the terms of the agreement, $21 million (approx. £11.5m) is to be spent on social welfare services for Hungarian Nazi victims with limited incomes over a five-year period. While Hungarian survivors in Hungary, Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia or Romania will share $19.9m, the balance of $1.1m, or £600,000, will be shared among former Hungarians residing worldwide, including Great Britain.

The agreement also stipulates that $500,000 will be used for the establishment of an archive relating to the events of the Gold Train and that $3.75m is earmarked for lawyers' fees. A further $125,000 is reserved for incentive awards to be paid to 25 class members who initiated the litigation.

The welfare programme is scheduled to begin on 1 January 2006 and the AJR, which is likely to be the administrator of monies for Hungarian survivors and refugees living in this country, will publicise details of how to apply in future editions of this column.

Written enquiries should be sent to Central Office for Holocaust Claims (UK), Jubilee House, Merrion Avenue, Stanmore, Middx HA7 4RL, by fax to 020 8385 3075, or by email to michael@ajr.org.uk. Assistance can be provided strictly by appointment at the Holocaust Survivors Centre in Hendon, north London. For an appointment, please ring 020 8385 3074.
Michael Newman

previous article:Letter from Israel