MR. PERLES: And his father was an American citizen. His father was a naturalized American citizen.
THE COURT: And so they put the whole family in the concentration camp?
MR. PERLES: That is correct, Your Honor. They should have been swapped in the International Red Cross sponsored prisoner exchange, which is what happened to almost all captured Americans. He was not - he and his family were not Slovak.
THE COURT: Well, was he put in because he was Jewish, or was he put in because he was American?
MR. PERLES: Well, I can't answer that question, Your Honor. Presumptively he was put in because he was a Jewish American. But that's a question that I'm never going to be able to reconstruct. You know . . . I have to ask an individual who was then 17 years old, what happened during this confused time. He may never know why he was never swapped.
THE COURT: And they put the whole family, the mother, father and the son in?
MR. PERLES: And brothers and sister. He is sole survivor.
THE COURT: Which concentration camp?
MR. PERLES: He and two brothers went to Auschwitz. His parents and his sister were presumptively killed in [Maidanek]. One brother escaped and was killed in the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
THE COURT: Where was the other one killed?
MR. PERLES: He was in the -- he was a participant in the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
THE COURT: One brother.
MR. PERLES: One brother who escaped.
THE COURT: What about the other brother?
MR. PERLES: They were both killed in Auschwitz in Mr. Princz' presence. Two younger brothers were killed with him.
THE COURT: How were they killed?
MR. PERLES: They were starved to death in the Berkenau Hospital, Your Honor. And they were Americans. In fact, if you look at what we've been able to reconstruct of the German records, they indicate that Mr. Princz -- that they knew Mr. Princz was an American National. In fact, the reason he doesn't have a pension is he never went to a center for displaced persons. The reason he didn't go to a center for displaced persons is because the Germans stenciled his nationality on his chest. It says USA on his uniform, and when an American [Army] corps liberated him, they're pulling all these half dead people out of freight cars, and there is this man that says USA across his chest.
So instead of sending him with the rest of these half dead people to a center for displaced persons, they wanted to give him better medical treatment, so he went to an American military hospital. And he survived because he went to an American military hospital. But because he was never in that center for displaced persons, because he was in an American military hospital, he was not eligible under German law for a $ 500 a month pension.
This case is about Mr. Princz's 30 year quest for a $ 500 a month pension. I've been trying since March 9, 1986 to get this man his $ 300 to $ 500 a month pension. . .
THE COURT: Have you filed in Germany? Have you brought any action in Germany?
MR. PERLES: We have not brought an action in Germany, and I must say I've read the -- not the cases themselves, but the scholarly works describing them. No foreign national has ever successfully brought a case in Germany, and I don't view it as a cost effective undertaking for someone of Mr. Princz' age and financial standing. It's just not a viable option for him.
THE COURT: So they robbed this person of his citizenship, of his life -- I mean of his liberty. Go ahead.
MR. PERLES: And they won't give him a pension. That's the case.
ORDER December 23, 1992, Filed
The Court currently has before it Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Upon consideration of Defendant's motion and Plaintiff's opposition thereto, and after hearing oral argument from counsel for both sides, for the reasons stated in the foregoing Opinion, it is hereby
ORDERED that Defendant's motion is denied.
United States District Court