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Could This Train Make It Through: The Law and Strategy of the Gold Train Case

By Charles Tiefer, Jonathan W Cuneo and Annie Reiner

Abstract

In 1944-45, the Nazis seized personal belongings of the Hungarian Jewish population and dispatched some of the most valuable of them on a train. The United States Army took control of this \u22Gold Train\u22 and gave reassurances that it would keep the valuables safe. However, the items were plundered by individual soldiers, including officers, and diverted to various uses. After decades of dormancy, a Presidential Commission exposed the facts, but the government still did not right the wrong - until there was litigation. The \u22Gold Train\u22 case (Rosner v. United States) represents a measure of justice for the victimized community of Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivors. This case is one of the most successful human rights class actions ever brought against the United States. It teaches important lessons regarding future human rights cases, especially those against the United States. These lessons concern both the legal doctrines in such cases and strategic questions about how to mobilize the public\u27s sympathy for human rights victims injured by the United States abroad

Topics: Human Rights Law, Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.law.yale.edu:yhrdlj-1112
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