U.S. settles WWII looting claims
Monday, December 20, 2004
The U.S. government has agreed to settle with 30,000 Hungarian Jews for looting by the American Army. Army personnel allegedly plundered an estimated $50 million to $120 million that had been seized by Nazis.
Army personnel allegedly plundered an estimated $50 million to $120 million
The Justice Department tentatively told a judge Monday that they and the families involved have agreed in principle to a financial award. While terms have not yet been worked out, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz told attorneys to deliver a detailed settlement by Feb. 18.
The Justice Department had originally urged the court to dismiss the case, saying the U.S. government bears no responsibility. But the Bush administration came under bipartisan pressure from members of Congress to settle. "This agreement is a step closer to the goal we all share, a measure of justice for these Holocaust victims and their families," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
“Who is going to stand up against a generous payment to Holocaust survivors?”
The looting occurred near the end of WWII. A private named Kelly was interviewing a German Colonel and discovered the plot to transfer the Nazi claimed riches to a more secure base. Kelly’s platoon, led by Big Joe, had 3 days of R&R coming. So with the aid of a Supply Sergeant know only as Crapgame and Oddball, a tank commander and anachronistic hippie, Kelly led his men through enemy lines to steal the treasure for themselves.
Despite the settlement, New York University professor, Roland Zweig, claims that American Forces put in a “very serious effort” to protect the riches. “Who is going to stand up against a generous payment to Holocaust survivors?” Zweig said.