B’nai B’rith International is pleased that an agreement benefiting Holocaust victims who were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps entered into force Nov. 1.
Negotiated between the French and U.S. governments in 2014, the pact will make available $60 million in French government funds, to be distributed by the U.S. victims or heirs of victims who were transported from France to Nazi concentration camps by SNCF—France's national railway company—are eligible to apply.
Yesterday the State Department began accepting applications online to receive compensation not previously offered those living outside of France.
SNCF transferred more than 70,000 Jews to Nazi concentration camps. Few of those victims survived the Holocaust. Those in the United States and around the world have sought redress for years.
Once again, B’nai B’rith would like to commend the U.S. negotiators, led by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, and their French counterparts for ending the lamentably long impasse over reparations for Holocaust victims transported by SNCF.
B’nai B’rith also recognizes the French government for its acknowledgement that there are still survivors and family members who were unable to gain access to its earlier compensation efforts. It is part of the continued process of providing a small measure of justice to those who suffered through the Holocaust.
B’nai B’rith International is a founding member of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) and continues to work with an array of governments and organizations to secure reparations for Holocaust survivors and their families.