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Holocaust Restitution: U.S. Government Agrees to Settlement for Gold Train Looting

(March 11, 2005)

The United States government reached a $25.5 million settlement with the families whose possessions were looted from the Nazi “Gold Train.” The government also agreed to acknowledge the U.S. Army's role in commandeering the train during World War II.

The agreement concluded it would be impractical to divide the money among the estimated 60,000 Hungarian survivors because of the difficulty in determining who had what on the train, and the expense of determining eligibility for compensation. Instead, the money will be distributed to needy Hungarian Holocaust survivors rather than the individual claimants who lost family possessions. About $21 million in funding for humanitarian services will be distributed to social service agencies worldwide based on the percentage of survivors, including 40 percent in Israel, 22 percent in Hungary, 21 percent in the U.S., and 7 percent in Canada. Up to $3.85 million is proposed for legal fees and costs. Another $500,000 will fund an archive on the incident and other educational uses.

Source: AP, (March 12, 2005)