Is Campaign on French Rail Firm Blamed in Holocaust 'Self-Defeating'?

Stuart Eizenstat Says Talks With Government Are Progressing

getty images

By JTA

Published April 02, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Efforts by state legislatures to force a French rail company to pay reparations to Holocaust survivors deported by train to Nazi death camps are hurting their chances of ever receiving money, said Stuart Eizenstat.

Eizenstat, a special assistant to Secretary of State John Kerry on Holocaust issues, has been in talks with the French government to obtain reparations for the survivors.

The Maryland, New York, Florida and California legislatures are considering laws that would bar the French company, Societe Nationale de Fer Francais, or SNCF, from obtaining state contracts for rail work until it pays reparations to the Holocaust survivors it transported who are now living in the United States.

However, it is the French government’s position that it, and not SNCF, has the authority to pay reparations. Therefore, any loss of work to SNCF while the French government is negotiating in good faith would “pose a serious obstacle” and is “self-defeating,” Eizenstat said in an interview with the Washington Jewish Week.

A third meeting between France and the United States is expected to be held this month, Eisenstat said. The French government has set a goal of completing the negotiations by the end of the summer, he said.


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!
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • 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.