Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Aller Simple: Restoring Justice and Railroads: The SNCF and The USA
by Federman, Sarah, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2011, 214; 10305797
Abstract (Summary)

Between 1941-44, French state-owned train company SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français) under the direction of the Vichy Regime, deported 75,721 Jews to the German border where they were taken to Auschwitz. Few returned.

Today the SNCF has business interests in the U.S. both for the high-speed and commuter rail projects. Many legislators, survivors and some U.S. Jewish groups want the organization to become more accountable and transparent regarding its World War II history.

The SNCF has, over the years, opened its archives, participated in colloquia, donated significantly to Holocaust remembrance and education.

Has justice been served?

Part One:

“No company whose trains carried innocent victims to death camps should have the right to lay the first inch of track in this country." --Ron Klein, Florida Democratic Representative, 2010

France's high-speed train company, the SNCF, faces tough competition for rail business in the U.S. (high-speed and commuter) and angry legislators in California, Florida and Maryland continue to draft bills requiring the company to acknowledge its WWII activities.

Part Two:

"We learn from our mistakes not from our lies" -Les Convois de la Honte

Examining the truth and accuracy of claims made against the SNCF.

Sources: Interview, archives, documentaries, witnesses, and existing literature.

Part Three:

“I want to hear a ... statement of ‘Yes we did wrong, and we got paid for it,” Leo Bretholz, escaped an SNCF train bound for Auschwitz

A review of all the SNCF's post liberation efforts to search for the truth, honor memory, and make amends. Paradigm of Transitional & Restorative Justice used.

Indexing (document details)
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: International Relations
Keywords: Justice, Railroads, Restoring, Sncf
Publication Number: 10305797
ISBN: 978-1-369-49361-0
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