June 6 (Bloomberg) — A French court ordered the state and the national
railroad company to pay 62,000 euros ($79,530) to the family of French
European Parliament Green member Alain Lipietz, whose relatives were
deported to a French transit camp during World War II.
The state and Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer, or SNCF, were
condemned by the administrative tribunal of Toulouse for deporting
Lipietz’s father and uncle by train from the southern city to the camp
at Drancy, north of Paris.
This is the first time that the French state and a government-owned
company have been found guilty for the treatment of deportees during the
Nazi occupation of France.
The court said the prisoners were held “in the Toulouse penitentiary
administration following their arrest by the Gestapo” on May 8, 1944.
They were transferred to Drancy on May 11 until Allied forces liberated
the camp on Aug. 17, 1944.
The state was responsible because it couldn’t have been unaware that
their transfer to Drancy was the “prelude to deportation” to
concentration camps, the court said.
Drancy was set up in 1941 as a transit point for Auschwitz in Poland and
other Nazi camps, where some 75,000 French Jews died.
SNCF “never objected nor protested against carrying out these
transports,” according to the ruling. The company billed the government
for a third-class ticket for each prisoner, the Toulouse court said.