French Rail Company Aided Nazis

By on February 17, 2014
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Congresswoman Maloney Joins In Bi-Partisan Effort To Persuade Maryland Transportation Dept. To Sever Ties 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 30, 2014) — On a recent trip to Poland to observe the 69th anniversary of liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) stood by the very rail line that brought over a million men, women and children to their death. And one of the central facts of the Holocaust was inescapable. The Holocaust could never have occurred on such a vast, methodical and murderously efficient scale, had it not been for transportation infrastructure of a modern industrial state. Eichmann’s willing collaborators made sure the death trains ran on time.  Now, an affiliate of one of the same railroad companies that brought victims to the Nazi death camps could win a contract to build a new metro line in the DC area.

In photo: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (center) with Rep. Eric Cantor (on left) during their recent visit to Auschwitz/Birkenau for the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp.  

Congresswoman Maloney joined forces with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to send a letter to Maryland’s Department of Transportation requesting that the state sever all ties with a French rail firm that aided the Nazis during World War II and has never been held accountable.

Maryland’s Department of Transportation recently announced that Keolis, a company which is majority-owned by Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF), has been selected to bid on the Purple Line rail extension project.

In World War II, SNCF collaborated with the Nazis to transfer more than 76,000 Jews and thousands of other “undesirables” to concentration camps, but has not provided any restitution to victims.

“SNCF refuses to hold itself accountable for its role in the Holocaust, and ignores a moral obligation to the survivors and veterans who are taxpayers of Maryland,” wrote Maloney and Ros-Lehtinen.

“While we look forward to the innovative Purple Line, we do not believe that it should be done through the partnership of Keolis as an entity of SNCF.”

Last year Maloney and Ros-Lehtinen introduced the Holocaust Rail Justice Act (H.R. 1505), which would provide Holocaust survivors their day in court against SNCF. The bill has not seen committee action as yet.

Following her visit to Auschwitz, Maloney vowed to redouble her efforts to pass the Holocaust Rail Justice Act, saying: “Any promises of ’never again’ and ‘never forget’ ring somewhat hollow, if we are willing to do business with a company that aided and abetted the Nazi killing machine.   The world must not forget their collaboration with evil, even if they turn out to be the lowest bidder.”

– Congresswoman Maloney’s office