New Bill Would Make Companies Tied to Nazi Deportations Pay Restitution

Legislation Introduced in Maryland State Senate

Getty Images

By JTA

Published February 04, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A bill in which companies connected to the deportations of people to Nazi death camps must pay restitution before they can obtain a contract to work on a new rail line was introduced in the Maryland state Senate.

State Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat, introduced the legislation on Tuesday in response to reports that Keolis America, a U.S. affiliate of the French rail company SNCF, is bidding for a 35-year, $6 billion public-private partnership contract to operate the Purple Line, a 16-mile rail line.

The bill was sent to the state Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee. A similar bill in the House of Delegates is expected to be introduced as well.

More than 50,000 people signed a petition posted on Change.org by Maryland resident Leo Bretholtz, who escaped from a train headed to Auschwitz in 1942, calling for SNCF to pay reparations to survivors or their descendants.

There were 72 convoys of trains during World War II on which more than 75,000 Jews and other prisoners were transported from the suburbs of Paris to Nazi concentration camps. SNCF was paid per person per kilometer to provide the trains, cars and manpower.

“SNCF’s continued refusal to take responsibility for its role in the Holocaust remains insulting to its victims and deeply troubling,” Conway said. “Requiring disclosure alone has not worked — it is essential for any company interested in doing business in the State of Maryland on such important, taxpayer-funded projects to do so with clean hands.”

Under the legislation, any company wishing to enter into a public-private partnership in Maryland must disclose its involvement or that of its affiliated companies in the deportations and whether or not reparations have been paid.

A similar bill was passed in 2011 in connection with a MARC train service contract.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.