Maloney Bill Would Allow U.S. Court Action on Railroads That Worked With Nazis

WASHINGTON – More than 60 years after World War II, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY14) re-introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3713) to hold railroad companies that worked with the Nazis accountable in U.S. courts. More than 75,000 Jews were transported from France to concentration camps during World War II by French railroad companies.

“Nothing will ever make up for the unthinkable atrocities undertaken by Nazi Germany and its sympathizers during World War II, but every bit of justice is important,” said Maloney. “This bill will finally ensure the railroad companies that worked with the Nazis get their day of reckoning.”

The bill provides plaintiffs the right to seek damages against the French National Railway (Societe Nationale des Chemines Fers Francais – SNCF) in Federal Court for its transportation of French and other Jews to Auschwitz as well as its supply of personnel to facilitate the transportation and the assessed charges per person. The French Government claims immunity from legal action due to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, yet the FSIA was passed 30 years after the action causing the damages for which the plaintiffs seek. The bill allows the plaintiffs to sue regardless of the strictures of the FSIA.

Original co-sponsors of H.R. 3713 include Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Christopher Shays (R-CT).