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 "Gold Train" 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 "Gold Train" 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's sympathy for human rights victims injured by the United States abroad.
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