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France court rules government responsible for deporting Jews in WWII

[JURIST] The French Council of State [official website, in French], France's highest court, ruled [opinion, in French; press release, in French] Monday that the French government bore responsibility for deporting Jews during World War II, while denying further reparations for individuals. The council was asked by the Paris administrative court to issue an advisory opinion in the case of a Holocaust victim's daughter who was seeking reparations. In its ruling, the council indicated that the government had already "taken a series of measures, such as pensions, allowances, aids or remedies" to provide compensation and characterized the measures as comparable to those taken by other European states. The council also called for "the solemn recognition of the collective losses suffered by these individuals and the role played by the state in their deportation." This is the most formal recognition by the French government of its role in the Holocaust [JURIST news archive], although former President Jacques Chirac acknowledged in 1995 that the French government bore some responsibility.

In 2006, a French trial court ordered the French government and the state-controlled railway SNCF [corporate website] to pay 60,000 euros, or about $80,000 US, in compensation [JURIST report] to a Jewish family for complicity in crimes against humanity for deporting them during World War II. Monday's ruling will estop similar claims in the future.

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