U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and New York City Council Members Mark Levine and Benjamin Kallos on Monday announced their plan to introduce a resolution prohibiting city businesses from working with companies that had profited from the Holocaust and did not compensate victims.
The initiative could impact Société Nationale des Chemin de fer Français (SNCF), the French national railroad company, which deported 76,000 Jews to Nazi concentration camps. SNCF recently won contracts with the states if Virginia and Massachusetts, and is among the top contenders to become the operator of the proposed Purple Line from Washington, DC into suburban Maryland.
According to Maloney, SNCF has compensated Holocaust survivors in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, and the U.K., but not those in the U.S. Maloney and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) last year introduced the Holocaust Rail Justice Act, a bill intended to make it illegal to award SNCF government contracts. The bill did not pass.
“SNCF has acknowledged its role in transporting victims, but has always refused to pay compensation for its actions,” Maloney said, The Jerusalem Post reported. “The survivors deserve their day in court. We believe that this will add to the pressure on France. After 69 years there’s no reason for France to drag its feet.”