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Families seek damages from French railroad for carrying Jews to WWII camps

[JURIST] Two hundred families plan later this week to demand damages from SNCF [corporate website], the French state-run railway system, in connection with the company's transportation of Jewish families to German concentration camps during World War II. The demand comes two months after a French trial court held SNCF liable [JURIST report] for damages to the family of Alain Lipietz [official website], a member of the European Parliament whose relatives were carried to a transit camp during the war on SNCF railways. The families, from the United States, France, Israel, Belgium, and Canada, have threatened to sue within two months if SNCF does not pay several million euros to compensate them for their relatives' suffering.

SNCF is appealing the June ruling, claiming that it had no choice but to follow German orders during the period in question. The families are taking action before the statute of limitations expires on September 1, an issue that caused a similar civil claim against SNCF to be dismissed in 2003. BBC News has more. Le Monde has local coverage.

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