Comments on the 'Gold Train'Posted: March 12, 2005
As reported in the New York Times:
“The United States government and a group of Hungarian Jews have agreed to a $25.5 million settlement for the looting of the Hungarians' valuables by American soldiers during World War II, lawyers for the group said Friday.”
I heard a talk at NYU last week, however, by Ronald Zweig, a professor at NYU and an expert on the topic. He said that this was mostly manufactured by parasitic ambulance-chasers who are getting a huge chunk of the settlement. According to him, the most valuable of the loot was buried en route to Switzerland, before the train was intercepted by U.S. soldiers. While it is regretable but likely that some of the remainder was in fact carried off by Americans, most of the theft was probably committed by Hungarian officials working with the Nazis.
Anyway, if it is in fact true that America is mostly blameless here, this may be a very painful time for many American World War Two veterans who served with honor and distinction at that time protecting what was left of the loot for the benefit of victims that they never met, who came from a country these soldiers had never been to. In fact, this is probably, for many Americans, a slap in the face. I can only hope that they channel their anger at the lawyers responsible, and not at the Hungarian survivors, who probably just went along, like so many other suckers, with a class action lawsuit that sounded really good.