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Utopia Talk / Politics / Dutch railway pay holocaust victims
Peter Walsh
Thu Jun 27 10:45:41

Dutch railways to pay 'tens of millions of euros' for Holocaust victims transported to Nazi death camps during WWII

Dutch national rail company to pay compensation to Nazi death camp victims

Company earned millions from transportation Jews to camps from Netherlands

It was described as a 'black page in the history of the company' by the rail firm

Former Ajax physiotherapist Salo Muller has campaigned with families for years

Both his parents died during the war after being taken to Auschwitz on trains

The Dutch national rail company has announced it will pay tens of millions of euros in compensation for Jews transported to Nazi death camps during World War II.

The payment by NS for what it calls a 'black page in the history of the company' is for survivors who were taken to camps, plus relatives of those who died.

The company earned millions of euros in today's terms after being commissioned by the occupying Nazi forces to transport Jewish families to extermination camps.

Some 70 per cent of the Dutch Jewish community - or more than 100,000 Jews - did not survive the war.

Most were rounded up in cities like Amsterdam and taken by train to camps in the Netherlands before being sent to the border and put on German trains to concentration camps.

'It is estimated that several thousand people are eligible for the allowance, including an estimated 500 survivors. NS will set aside several tens of millions of euros for this in the coming years,' NS said in a statement.

The rail company apologised for its role in World War II back in 2005, but only finally announced that it would make compensation payments in November 2018.

A special commission has since been deciding on the amounts.

Families led by former Ajax football club physiotherapist Salo Muller, who lost both his parents during the war, have been campaigning for years for compensation.

Both Muller's parents were transported by train from Amsterdam to the Dutch transit camp, Westerbork, from where they were taken to Auschwitz and gassed.

NS said an estimated 500 living survivors of the Holocaust who were transported by the company will receive 15,000 euros each.

Widows and widowers of victims are eligible to receive 7,500 euros and, if they are no longer alive, the surviving children of victims should receive 5,000 euros.

'It's 15,000 euros for survivors of the Holocaust and the transportations and then 5,000 to 7,500 euros for children born before, during or after the war and widows or widowers,' an NS spokesman said.

'The total group that is estimated who could get the individual allowance is approximately five to six thousand people.'

NS trains took Jews, Roma and Sinti minorities to transit stations including Westerbork, Vught or Amersfoort before they were sent onwards to death camps in other countries.

Those transported to Westerbork included teenage diarist Anne Frank, who passed through in August 1944 after she and other members of her group were betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo.

Some 107,000 of the Netherlands' 140,000-strong Jewish population were eventually interned in Westerbork before being sent to death camps like Auschwitz, Sobibor and Bergen-Belsen in the east.

Job Cohen, a respected former mayor of Amsterdam who led a commission that proposed the reparations, called the payments a moral gesture.

'It is not possible to name a reasonable and fitting amount of money that can compensate even a bit of the suffering of those involved,' Cohen said in a statement.

NS chief executive Roger van Boxtel said the decision will affect thousands of Holocaust survivors and direct relatives of victims, costing the company tens of millions of euros.

French railway company SNCF also has expressed regret for its role in transporting Jews during WWII, acknowledging that its equipment and staff were used to transport 76,000 Jews to Germany. SNCF has argued that it had no effective control over operations when France was under Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1944.

France's government has paid more than $6 billion in reparations to French citizens and certain deportees.

The German government has paid around 70 billion euros in compensation for Nazi crimes, mainly to Jewish survivors.

Thu Jun 27 11:34:16
I remember some 5-8 years ago I posted an article about Jews who were sueing the USA because they didn’t bomb Auschwitz.

I wonder how many billions they got from that.
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