Burden of History: French rail company SNCF ferried Jews to their death during the Holocaust. It faces new pressure to open its archives.

Survivors Who Were Shipped to Nazi Camps on French Trains Start Getting Compensation

(JTA) — Payments have started issuing from a United States-run compensation fund for Holocaust survivors deported to Nazi camps via the French rail system.

The $60 million compensation fund established in December 2014 has so far approved 68 claims, and is processing an estimated 700 in total,  Stuart Eizenstat, the Secretary of State’s special adviser for Holocaust issues, said in a conference call Thursday. The United States will administer and distribute the funds to eligible Americans, Israelis and other foreigners, their spouses and heirs who were not entitled to make claims under existing French programs.

In return, the United States will protect France from American lawsuits related to Holocaust deportations of Jews from the country. Several U.S. state governments banned their local transportation services from contracting with French railway SNCF, a major exporter of rail cars, until the reparations issue was resolved.

Survivors can receive $204,000 under the program, while their spouses can receive $51,000.

The deadline for filing claims has been extended to January. The claims form and other instructions are available on the State Department website. A hotline for questions has been set up at 202-776-8385.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Survivors Who Were Shipped to Nazi Camps on French Trains Start Getting Compensation

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close