Dutch railway to compensate Nazi victims and their families for concentration camp transports

26 June 2019, 23:02 | Updated: 27 June 2019, 04:07

Thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families are to receive compensation from the Netherlands' state-run rail firm.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) transported Jewish people and other minorities to Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.

In a statement on Wednesday, the firm said it was a "black page in the history of the company" - with chief executive Roger van Boxtel saying it would pay "tens of millions of Euros".

Some 70% of the Dutch Jewish community did not survive the war.

Most were rounded up in cities like Amsterdam and taken by train to camps in the Netherlands before being sent to the border and put on German trains to concentration camps.

In 2005, the train company apologised - and last year, it set up a commission to investigate how best to pay the compensation.

Job Cohen, a respected former mayor of Amsterdam, who led the commission, called the payments a moral gesture.

He said: "It is not possible to name a reasonable and fitting amount of money that can compensate even a bit of the suffering of those involved."

NS said an estimated 500 living survivors of the Holocaust, who were transported by the company will receive €15,000 (£13,000) each.

Widows and widowers of victims are eligible to receive €7,500 (£6,700) and, if they are no longer alive, the surviving children of victims should receive €5,000 (£4,400).

French railway company SNCF has also expressed regret for its role in transporting 76,000 Jewish people to Germany during the war.

The firm had argued it had no effective control over operations when France was under Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1944.

France's government has paid almost £5b in compensation to French citizens and certain deportees.

The German government has paid around €70bn (£62bn) for Nazi crimes, mainly to Jewish survivors.