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CRM 202-514-2007 (TDD) 202-514-1888

APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS ORDER REVOKING CITIZENSHIP OF EDITOR OF WORLD WAR II PRO-NAZI AND ANTI-SEMITIC HUNGARIAN NEWSPAPER WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice announced today that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has unanimously affirmed a court order revoking the U.S. citizenship of Ferenc Koreh of Englewood, New Jersey, based on his activities during World War II as the editor of a virulently anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi and anti-American newspaper in Nazi-allied Hungary. The court's opinion upheld the June 1994 decision of U.S. District Court Judge Maryanne Trump Barry in Newark. Judge Barry awarded summary judgment to the government on finding that Koreh's admitted service as "Responsible Editor" of Szekely Nep constituted "advocacy and assistance in persecution" and "membership and participation in a movement hostile to the United States." Koreh, 85, a retired Radio Free Europe producer and broadcaster, has not contested the charge that articles published in the provincial newspaper Szekely Nep in 1941 and 1942, a period in which he admitted serving as the "Responsible Editor" of the newspaper, were anti-Semitic and anti-Allied. These articles attributed the outbreak of World War II to world Jewry, blamed various social and economic ills in Hungary on its Jewish minority and, as the appeals court's 27-page decision noted, "frequently advocated anti-Semitic legislation and enforcement actions that were more severe than those which had already been enacted." The court cited the Nuremberg conviction of Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher as recognizing "the nexus between propaganda and persecution." (Streicher was sentenced to death and hanged.) The decision quoted excerpts from articles published under Koreh's tenure at Szekely Nep that portrayed Jews as "enemies of our race" who are of "alien character" and possess a "merciless plan to destroy Hungarians" and to "rule over all the other peoples of the earth." The court further cited the newspaper's quotation of a German publication's statement that "a final solution may be achieved only by deporting Jewish elements." One article demanded that the Hungarian government "send the Jews packing," the court noted. Another quoted article asserted, "There are still those who say we should not have harmed the Jews, but thank God today we are beyond these types of sentimentality." The opinion also cited Koreh's admission that Szekely Nep published anti-Semitic material "to please the Germans."

The opinion by Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter ruled that the undisputed facts showed that Koreh's involvement in the publication of such articles "assisted in the persecution of Hungarian Jews by fostering a climate of anti-Semitism in Northern Transylvania which conditioned the Hungarian public to acquiesce, to encourage, and to carry out the abominable antiSemitic policies of the Hungarian government in the early 1940s." Approximately 435,000 Hungarian Jews were deported between May and July of 1944 to Nazi concentration and death camps, such as Auschwitz. In June 1989, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the U.S. Attorneys Office in Newark filed a 10-count complaint alleging that Koreh's activities during World War II, including his positions as Responsible Editor at Szekely Nep, as Press Officer in the Press Department of the Hungarian Government's Ministry of Propaganda, and as Responsible Editor of the antiAllied weekly Vilaglap, and his subsequent war crimes conviction by a Hungarian court in 1947, made Koreh ineligible for the visa he received in 1950 to enter the United States. The complaint charged that his 1956 naturalization was illegally and fraudulently procured. OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum stated that the decision upholding the denaturalization order against Koreh is "another important step forward" in OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution who reside in the United States. To date, he noted, 50 such persons have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 43 have been removed from the United States. # # # 95-393