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Holocaust Lawsuit on Railroad Reinstated

June 20, 2003|From Reuters

NEW YORK — A U.S. court has reinstated a lawsuit accusing the French state railroad of profiting in the 1940s from transporting about 70,000 Jews and others to Nazi Germany's death camps, lawyers said Thursday.

An appeals court sent the class-action lawsuit back to the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., saying the judge wrongly dismissed it in 2001 on the grounds the railroad was immune under the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act of 1976.

The lawsuit filed in 2001 alleged the railroad, Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer, transported about 70,000 people, mostly Jews, to Nazi camps and during World War II.

The suit said the railroad made no effort to compensate the victims and after the war ended even sent a bill to the French government and received payment per person per kilometer for use of its trains.

Survivors of the Nazi campaign have reached settlements with banks and other corporations in recent years.

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