N.Y. City Council joins efforts to punish French rail firm SNCF

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A New York City Council resolution calls on the State Legislature to bar companies that profited from the Holocaust and never compensated their victims from working in the state.

City Councilmen Mark Levine and Benjamin Kallos introduced the resolution Tuesday aimed at securing reparations from SNCF, the French rail company that was paid to transport 76,000 Jews and thousands of others to Nazi death camps.

The councilmen were joined by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who is working to pass the Holocaust Rail Justice Act in Congress. Maloney and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) introduced the resolution last year allowing survivors to sue SNCF, which is immune from litigation under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Other states are working on similar legislation. The U.S. State Department has called the efforts harmful in its bid to secure reparations for Holocaust survivors from the French government.

“Survivors who live in the United States have been denied their day in court and have never received a dime in compensation from SNCF or the French government,” Maloney said in a statement. “Our response to the Holocaust must not only be about remembering and mourning, but also about supporting the survivors still among us and seeking justice for their perpetrators.”

 

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