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N.J. man who aided Nazis, entered U.S. illegally, dies

NEW YORK, April 7 (JTA) — A New Jersey man who had worked as a propagandist during World War II in Nazi-allied Hungary
has died, according to U.S. government sources. Ferenc Koreh, against whom the United States had won a court order of deportation in January, was 87 years old and had suffered from a blood disorder. The U.S. government had agreed at the time of the court order that it would not act to remove Koreh from the United States unless his rapidly deteriorating health improved. Other similar cases have been settled in this manner. Koreh died April 1 after undergoing surgery, the government sources said. Koreh had publicly advocated the persecution of Jews. From 1941 to 1944, he was an editor of Szekely Nep, the largest provincial newspaper in Axis Hungary. In the Jan. 13 agreement with the Office of Special Investigations, the Nazi-hunting arm of the U.S. Justice Department, Koreh admitted that he was deportable for having assisted in persecution and for lying about his wartime activities to gain admission in 1950 to the United States. The agreement also stated that Koreh did not contest that he was responsible for the publication of some 200 racist articles that helped create a climate in Hungary that made the Nazi persecution of the Jews acceptable. In June 1994, as a result of his activities, he was stripped of his American citizenship by a U.S. District Court in Newark. The judge said in making that decision that articles in the Hungarian newspaper for which Koreh worked advocated the “de-Jewification of Hungarian life.” That decision was upheld in February 1995 by a federal appeals court. The OSI began denaturalization proceedings in 1989 against Koreh, a retired Radio Free Europe producer and broadcaster who resided in Englewood, N.J. The January deportation order canceled Koreh’s Social Security benefits, a Justice Department official said at the time. About 435,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Nazi camps between May and July 1994.