Maloney Celebrates News That Holocaust Victims Transported by French National Railroad Have Begun to Receive Compensation

Sep 16, 2016
Press Release
Second Filing Period will extend to January 20, 2017

New York, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) who authored legislation to hold government-owned French railway Société Nationale de Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) liable for its actions in transporting Holocaust victims to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps, celebrated the news that claims are now being paid.  A historic agreement reached by U.S. and French diplomats established a $60 million fund to compensate U.S. citizens and other survivors and families of survivors around the world. Thus far, 90 victims or their heirs have received $11 million from the Holocaust Deportation Claims Program administered by the Department of State.

“I am delighted that Holocaust victims who were transported by the French government-owned railway and their heirs are finally receiving a measure of justice.  SNCF was complicit in transporting tens of thousands of people to their deaths.  It is truly heartening to know that at long last, this group of survivors and their heirs are receiving much-deserved compensation.”

Background: 

Maloney worked aggressively to bring the French to the bargaining table by working to block government contracts with SNCF subsidiaries in the United States and by pursuing legislation that would have exposed SNCF to lawsuits from victims living in the United States. Similar agreements were previously struck for survivors living in France, Belgium, Poland, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. Maloney authored the Holocaust Rail Justice Act (H.R. 1505) to allow Holocaust victims living in the U.S. to sue SNCF and had led opposition to public rail contracts for SNCF until the company paid for its crimes.

Information about how to apply for compensation is available at www.state.gov/deportationclaims or by phone at 202-776-8385 or by e-mail at deportationclaims@state.gov.

Timeline of Maloney Actions:

December 8, 2014 – Rep. Carolyn Maloney joined Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, and Stuart E. Eizenstat, Special Adviser for Holocaust Issues, for a Signing Ceremony for the U.S.-France Agreement on Holocaust Deportation From France.  At the event, Mr. Eizenstat recognized Maloney’s role, saying: “I also particularly want to recognize Congresswoman Maloney, who has been a leader in this effort. It was her legislation that helped bring attention to this. And she is a real inspiration – really an inspiration, Carolyn, and I really appreciate your being here and the support that you’ve given our efforts.”

April 28, 2014  - Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) joined City Council Members Mark Levine and Benjamin Kallos in support of a New York City Council resolution in support of barring contracting with companies that profited from the Holocaust, but have never compensated victims. 

March 12, 2014 – Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) write to Secretary of State John Kerry to stress the urgency of delivering fair and reasonable reparations to Holocaust survivors and their families.

February 5, 2014 – Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) applaud new legislation introduced in the Maryland state legislature to deny contracts to companies that were complicit in the Holocaust unless those companies have paid restitution to the victims.

January 30, 2014 – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) visits the rail lines in Poland that brought over a million men, women and children to their death. Maloney was in Poland to observe the 69th anniversary of liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

January 27, 2014 - Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) send a letter to Maryland’s Department of Transportation requesting that the state sever ties with a French rail firm that aided the Nazi’s during World War II. SNCF subsidiary Keolis had been selected to bid on the Purple Line rail extension project in Maryland.

April 11, 2013 - Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) re-introduce the Holocaust Rail Justice Act (H.R. 1505), which would provide Holocaust survivors their day in court against SNCF, the French rail company that transported more than 75,000 Jews and thousands of others-- including U.S. air pilots—to concentration camps during World War II. 

November 16, 2011 - Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in support of her bill, the “Holocaust Rail Justice Act” (H.R. 1193), which would provide Holocaust survivors their day in court against the French rail company, SNCF, for its role in transporting thousands to their deaths during World War II. 

March 17, 2011 - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) re-introduces bipartisan legislation (H.R. 1193) to hold railroad companies that worked with the Nazis accountable in U.S. courts. 

December 9, 2009 - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) re-introduces bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4237) to hold railroad companies that worked with the Nazis accountable in U.S. courts. 

October 9, 2007 - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) re-introduces bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3713) to hold railroad companies that worked with the Nazis accountable in U.S. courts.  

February 1, 2005 - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) re-introduces bipartisan legislation (H.R. 474) to hold railroad companies that worked with the Nazis accountable in U.S. courts. 

July 25, 2003 - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) introduces bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2954) to hold railroad companies that worked with the Nazis accountable in U.S. courts. 

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