WASHINGTON (Jul. 4)
A federal judge has revoked the U.S. citizenship of a longtime resident of New Jersey who was editor of an anti-Semitic and an anti-Allied powers newspaper in Hungary during World War II, the Department of Justice announced last week.
Ference Koreh, 84, a native of the Transylvania region that was annexed by Hungary in 1940, did not contest the charge against him that certain articles published in the publication Szekely Nep in 1941 and 1942 were both anti-Semitic and opposed to the Allied powers.
Koreh, who lives in Englewood, N.J., a town where many Jews live, was charged with “advocacy and assistance in persecution.”
U.S. District Court Judge Maryanne Trump Barry in Newark, N.J., found that because of his wartime activities, Koreh had been ineligible for the U.S. immigration visa he received in 1950 and that his 1956 naturalization as a U.S. citizen was therefor illegally procured.
Koreh is a retired producer and broadcaster for Radio Free Europe.
The case against Koreh was filed June 20, 1989, by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
The 10-count complaint included charges that Koreh was also press officer in Hungary’s Propaganda Ministry and an editor of the anti-Allied weekly publication Vilaglap.
A Hungarian court convicted Koreh of war crimes in 1947. The articles published under Koreh’s tenure as editor of Szekely Nep blamed the outbreak of the war on world Jewry, blamed Hungary’s social and economic ills on its Jewish minority and “called for harsher restrictions and punishments” against Jews, the court’s 29-page decision said.
Barry ruled that such articles were “poison” and “condition(ed) the Hungarian people in that region to accept Hungary’s efficient persecution of Jews in all aspects of their lives.”
She found that the some 164,000 Jews who lived in the region served by Szekely Nep were affected by the paper’s anti-Semitic “climate of opinion” in which “the persecution of Jews was acceptable to the Hungarian people and that persecution (was) thus facilitated.”
Many of the Jews in that area were later deported to Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz.