U.S. takes measures to deport Hungarian anti-Semitic publisher

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NEW YORK — The U.S. Justice Department has begun deportation proceedings against a New Jersey man who promoted the persecution of Jews in Hungary during World War II.

The proceedings against Ferenc Koreh, 86, were launched April 19, after a federal court upheld a 1994 decision to strip Koreh of his U.S. citizenship.

Koreh, a retired Radio Free Europe producer and broadcaster, admitted two years ago in U.S. District Court in Newark to being the founder and editor of a virulently anti-Semitic, anti-American newspaper between 1941 and 1944 in Hungary.

"Propagandists such as Koreh laid the foundation for Nazi genocide by fostering a climate of hate in which inhumane measures could be carried out without protest," Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, said in a statement after the deportation proceedings began.

Some 435,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to Nazi concentration and death camps between May and July of 1944.

In February, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision regarding Koreh's citizenship.

The court noted that as editor of the Hungarian newspaper, Koreh fostered "a climate of anti-Semitism in northern Transylvania which conditioned the Hungarian public to acquiesce, to encourage and to carry out the abominable anti-Semitic policies of the Hungarian government in the early 1940s."

The Justice Department alleges that Koreh served as a press officer and then deputy section chief in the information section of the Hungarian government's Ministry of National Defense and Propaganda and that he was an editor and writer for three other pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic publications.