The United States and Holocaust Survivors Reach Proposed Settlement Agreement

The landmark Hungarian Gold Train case reached a milestone with today's filing of a proposed settlement agreement between the United States government and Hungarian Holocaust survivors and heirs. With today's filing, the proposed settlement is now before the U.S. District Court in Florida for consideration.

The proposed settlement in the case of Rosner et al v. United States creates a $25.5 million settlement fund, and provides for a statement by the United States government acknowledging the events surrounding the Gold Train property. Because of the passage of time, lost documentation, and lack of an inventory, there is limited information about the specific items that were on the Gold Train and taken into U.S. custody in 1945. Thus it is very hard to fairly assess and compensate individual class members based on their personal losses. Therefore, the U.S. government and representatives for the class have agreed that a minimum of $21 million in the settlement Fund be used to augment existing social welfare programs for Hungarian victims of Nazi persecution. The settlement agreement also allocates $500,000 to fund and create an archival collection of information and artifacts for the benefit of the class and other educational purposes.

The U.S. government also agreed to allocate $500,000 to fund and create an archival collection of information and artifacts for the benefit of the class and other educational purposes.

The settlement class includes all persons whose personal property was seized or stolen by the Hungarian government, and all heirs, estates, assigns, and survivors of such persons.

The proposed agreement will go before the Court on March 17 for preliminary approval. If approved by the Court, notice of the settlement will go to class members by mail, through newspaper ads, and through Jewish and survivor organizational networks.

Fred F. Fielding served as court-appointed mediator in this case.

Counsel for the class is very pleased with the proposed settlement and feel that it fairly resolves the claims that the Holocaust survivors and their heirs have against the United States government, though nothing can ever truly compensate them for what they endured. We will continue to update the Web site with additional information as it occurs, including the final approval of the settlement.

You can also reach counsel for the plaintiffs at the information below:

  • Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP - Steve W. Berman, R. Brent Walton, (206)-623-7292.
  • Cuneo Waldman & Gilbert, LLP - Jonathan W. Cuneo, Michael Waldman and David Stanley, (202) 789-3960.
  • Dubbin & Kravetz - Samuel J. Dubbin, Jeffrey Kravetz, (305) 357-9004.

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