Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

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David Benton
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Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by David Benton » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:33 pm

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49233817
"The Lost Train"
"In the days before the war ended, the Nazis began destroying evidence of concentration camps - including sites and documentation - and transporting prisoners to other locations within Germany.

It was at this time, as Mirjam was travelling through Germany in 1945 on one of three trains that had departed from the camp at Bergen-Belsen, that she recalls the moment she was freed."

I have posted this because it contains quite interesting details of the operation/ role of the trains , and that the Netherland Railways are offering compensation for their part in running them .

Whilst I know this article contains other material , lets keep our discussion focused on Railway related matters.
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The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.

eolesen
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by eolesen » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:05 pm

Dunno... this was all done under duress and a hostile occupation. What option did the railroad managers and crew really have?

David Benton
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by David Benton » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:38 am

Exactly. On the other hand, its not the management that are paying out , its the current railway. Kind of like compensation for land grabs by colonists, the current generation did not take part , but agree to compensate for past wrongs.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.

Joseph1
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by Joseph1 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:27 am

Perhaps the German government should compensate Nederlandse Spoorwegen for the compensation they are paying out for their wartime activities under Germany's control. That is in the spirit of European cooperation in commerce.

ExCon90
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:52 pm

Now there's a point--a similar situation exists in France and in other occupied countries as well. But as Mr. Benton points out, it still would involve reparations by people who weren't even born then.

ExCon90
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:02 pm

eolesen wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:05 pm
Dunno... this was all done under duress and a hostile occupation. What option did the railroad managers and crew really have?
Refuse and get shot then and there, probably along with family members; the practice often was to take a number of hostages--50 or so--against future refusals. The result would be that the mass deportations would take place anyway, with only a short delay; so not only did the railroad employees have no option, the mass murders would have happened regardless.

kato
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by kato » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:09 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:52 pm
Now there's a point--a similar situation exists in France and in other occupied countries as well.
SNCF did a similar "deal" five years ago already:
https://www.reuters.com/article/france- ... 4820141205

johnthefireman
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by johnthefireman » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:39 pm

Isn't it pretty normal practice that as an institution evolves or is taken over by another institution, it takes on both the assets and the liabilities of its earlier incarnations? If you buy a company that is in debt, you are usually also buying that debt, unless it has been written off by bankruptcy proceedings or some other legal process. So modern day companies are liable for the actions of their predecessors.

David Benton
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by David Benton » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:17 am

Depends , John. Buy the whole company, yes you take everything, debts and all. Buy a business from a company , the debts etc stay with the original owner. Usually what used to happen is a company will go bankrupt when faced with big payouts, and the directors / shareholders would get off to start again. Nowadays , (at least here in NZ), directors (usually the owners in a small company) are legally liable for the actions of the company, one way or the other. If my company wants to start a credit account with a supplier for e.g , as sole director, I have to sign a letter saying I will personally cover any outstanding debts. But then again this has lead to the rise of family trusts , partly to protect the assets of business owners in case of large claims.

But in this case, it is a govt owned company taking the responsibility of a former Government department (I think ). What the case would be if the railways were totally privatised, I don't know . I would think the govt would have to continue to keep responsibility for past incidents , otherwise no one would be interested in buying it . I think this is partly what the argument over franchises paying superannuation in Britain is about.
In these holocaust compensation, I have seen little opposition to making the payments.
In all compensation cases , its usually about been seen to be served justice, often a formal apology is just as valued as financial compensation.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.

eolesen
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by eolesen » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:21 am

johnthefireman wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:39 pm
Isn't it pretty normal practice that as an institution evolves or is taken over by another institution, it takes on both the assets and the liabilities of its earlier incarnations? If you buy a company that is in debt, you are usually also buying that debt, unless it has been written off by bankruptcy proceedings or some other legal process. So modern day companies are liable for the actions of their predecessors.
Few acquisitions anymore are an all or nothing deal. Bankruptcy/receivership is the usual vehicle to eject past financial debts and obligations. What's not as clear would be moral obligations, which is where this falls.

Acts of war and other force majeure events typically fall outside normal liability and law, unless you're the EU. They held airlines responsible for compensating customers due to flight cancellations when Icelandic volcanic ash closed down airspace a few years ago, so I guess that's the mindset the Dutch are dealing with or coming from...

ExCon90
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Re: Holocaust trains, Netherland railways offer compensation.

Post by ExCon90 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:19 pm

Come to think of it, a similar situation has arisen concerning the use of slave labor by railroads in the American South. In consequence of a combination of circumstances, awhile back Canadian National was supposedly going to be sued for reparations as a southern slaveholder resulting from its acquisition of the Illinois Central, which has been established as having used slave labor prior to the Civil War. I haven't heard any more about it for some years and have no idea where it stands now.

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