French Train Firm Apologizes for Role in Holocaust

But survivors are underwhelmed
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 4:04 PM CST
Eurostar Chairman France's Guillaume Pepy, left, and chief executive Britain's Richard Brown pose at Gare du Nord train station in Paris Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
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(Newser) – France's state railway company has apologized for its role in deporting Jews to be slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II—but the move seems only to have caused more outrage. "In the name of the SNCF, I bow down before the victims, the survivors, the children of those deported and before the suffering that still lives," said President Guillaume Pepy. Critics note that the apology comes as SNCF is bidding for lucrative train contracts with the US—and that American Holocaust survivors have tried to block the deal until the train company comes clean about its role, reports AOL News.

On top of that, survivors found Pepy's comments to be an abdication of responsibility, specifically his claim that "the SNCF, a state enterprise, was forced and requisitioned as a cog in the Nazi extermination machine." One lawyer accused the company of "rewriting history." SNCF "said they were forced to do this by the Germans. They're turning themselves into victims. It's not true. It was a business for them. They got paid by the head and by the kilometer." Click for more.

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