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    Holocaust survivors and French President Francois Hollande with a European delegation walk during their visit to the former Nazi concentration camp in Natzwiller-Struthof, eastern France, on Sunday April 26 2015.

    France to Pay Holocaust Victims $60 Million for Death Camp Transportation

    © AP Photo / Jean Francois Badias
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    The state of France will pay $60 million in compensation to mainly American victims of the Holocaust who were transported by a French state rail company to Nazi death camps during World War Two, it has been announced.

    France and the US released a joint statement saying they had come to an agreement following years of discussions, with the deal to create a compensation fund for thousands of non-French citizens, their partners of family members who were not covered in an original deal established by Paris in 1946.

    "The United States will administer and distribute this amount to eligible Americans, Israelis and other foreigners and their families who were not entitled to make claims under the existing French program," the joint statement said.

    "In turn, the United States will ensure an enduring legal peace for France with regard to Holocaust deportation claims in the United States," the statement said, seemingly referring to US-initiated lawsuits against French state rail company SNCF. 

    Following the orders and demands of the Nazi party in Germany, SNCF transported 76,000 Jewish people across France and into Nazi-run concentration and death camps between 1942 and 1944.

    According to figures from the railway company, only 3,000 people survived.

    SNCF's actions led many to call for the railway to directly compensate victims and their families, however the French foreign ministry argued in December that although the company was used as the instrument of deportation, it was not responsible.

    "It is the responsibility of French authorities to assume the consequences," the ministry said, noting that SNCF did not take part in compensation negotiations.

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    Tags:
    Jews, concentration camp, compensation, victims, war, train, railway, Holocaust, WWII, United States, France
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