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Suit filed in Auschwitz case

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ZURICH, April 21 (JTA) — A Jewish man whose parents were murdered in Auschwitz after Swiss authorities deported them in 1942 is bringing a lawsuit against Switzerland before the European Supreme Court in Strasbourg, France. The move by Charles Sonabend comes after the Swiss Cabinet rejected his suit and Switzerland’s Supreme Court suspended the case. Sonabend, a 68-year-old resident of London, is seeking $68,000 in damages — the largest amount possible under Swiss regulations — under a Swiss law that allows individuals to make liability claims against the state. Sonabend was 11 years old when he and his parents entered Switzerland in 1942 from Belgium. Two days later, his parents were arrested and deported to Nazi- occupied France. They were then sent to Auschwitz. His suit, first filed in 1997, focused renewed attention on the refugee policy of Switzerland, which expelled more than 30,000 Jews during the war. Most of these Jews died. At the same time, however, Switzerland provided haven to some 25,000 Jewish refugees, who survived the war together with Switzerland’s 20,000 Jewish citizens.

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