French railroad inks deal with Yad Vashem to research deportations


JERUSALEM (JTA) — France’s state railroad signed an agreement with Yad Vashem to further the research into the deportation of Jews from France during the Holocaust.

The National Society of French Railways, or SNCF, signed the agreement Wednesday with the Jerusalem Holocaust center.

The railroad’s contribution will assist researchers in more fully documenting the some 80 mass transports of Jews from France, and add information to the French section of the “Transports to Extinction: Shoah Deportation Database.”

A detailed analysis of SNCF records during the Holocaust, of which Yad Vashem has received a copy, will be conducted in order to explore the processes involved. Survivors’ testimonies, private documents and photographs also will shed light on the deportees’ experience. The research will also map transports within France from small towns and villages to Drancy. 

“We welcome this contribution to research by SNCF,” said Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, who signed the agreement. “The Final Solution could not have been carried out by the Germans without the extensive cooperation of many people at all levels of society and governments throughout Europe. This research highlights the unique role of the transports in the extermination of the Jewish people.”

Bernard Emsellem, senior vice president of SNCF, also signed the agreement.

"Today, this contribution strengthens SNCF’s commitment to complete transparency, acknowledgment of the past, and commitment to remembrance of the victims of the tragedy of the Holocaust," Emsellem said. "This research embodies a pedagogic perspective towards educating future generations to never forget."

Some 76,000 Jews were transported to death camps and destinations in France between 1942 and 1945.


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