NS company spokesman Erik Kroeze said Wednesday that the commission will look at making payments to Dutch Holocaust survivors and direct family members of Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Dutch rail company to pay reparations for WWII deportations

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch national railway company is setting up a commission to investigate how it can pay individual reparations for its role in mass deportations of Jews by Nazi occupiers during World War II.

In a written statement, the rail company, NS, said that its involvement in the deportations “is a black page in the history of our country and our company.”

Company spokesman Erik Kroeze said Wednesday that the commission will look at making payments to Dutch Holocaust survivors and direct family members of Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis. He said it is not yet clear how many people could be eligible.

Kroeze said it is too early to say when the commission, which has yet to be appointed, will reach conclusions.

“For us it is important to put care ahead of speed,” he said.

More than 100,000 Jews — 70 per cent of the Dutch Jewish community — did not survive the war. Most were deported from the Netherlands and killed in Nazi concentration camps.

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

NS apologized for its role in the deportations in 2005.

But that was not enough for Salo Muller, a former physiotherapist with Amsterdam soccer club Ajax whose parents were sent by train to the Westerbork camp in the eastern Netherlands before being transported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered in the camp’s gas chambers.

Muller has pushed in recent years for reparations. His agreement with NS boss Roger van Boxtel was broadcast Tuesday night on Dutch current affairs show Nieuwsuur.

“What this means for me is that the NS sees that the suffering is not over; that very many Jews are still suffering,” Muller said on Nieuwsuur.

“That is why I am so happy that they now see, on moral grounds … that reparations will be paid.”

The Dutch railway company is not the first in Europe to confront its dark wartime history.

French railway company SNCF also has expressed regret for its role in transporting Jews during World War II. The railway acknowledges that SNCF’s equipment and staff were used to transport 76,000 Jews to Germany. SNCF has argued that it had no effective control over operations when France was under Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1944.

France’s government has paid more than $6 billion in reparations to French citizens and certain deportees.

The German government has paid around 70 billion euros in compensation for Nazi crimes, mainly to Jewish survivors.

By The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaun Janse van Rensburg, a Red Deer resident, said he is tired of changing clocks twice a year. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
After COVID, Kenney may consider referendum on daylight savings

Albertans may be divided on several issues today, but there’s a consensus… Continue reading

COVID-19-death toll in Alberta reached 309 according to numbers posted on the province’s website Tuesday afternoon. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another 422 COVID cases reported in Alberta and two more deaths

The Alberta government confirmed 422 COVID-19 cases Tuesday and two more virus… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
COVID-19 death toll verges on 10,000 as second wave continues to surge

Nearly 10,000 Canadians have died due to COVID-19, a mark of the… Continue reading

The Red Deer RCMP has filed another set of charges after an alleged assault at an anti-racism rally on Sept. 20. (File photo by Advocate Staff)
More assault charges filed after Sept. 20 anti-racism rally in Red Deer

Trevor Lyle Roy faces a second set of charges stemming from the event

Your weather forecast for Thursday, August 1st, 2019. (Pixabay)
Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer Tuesday

Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer. Although as of noon… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Reimagining ‘The Craft’ for a new batch of aspiring witches

Reimagining ‘The Craft’ for a new batch of aspiring witches

Fresh Air Experience owner Jon Digney poses for a photo in his store Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor rec options during pandemic winter

Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor rec options during pandemic winter

Indigenous fishermen head from the harbour in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. A First Nation in Nova Scotia that was struggling to sell its lobster harvest amid tensions over its self-regulated fishery says it has managed to find a buyer for a portion of its catch. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan
Another First Nation in Nova Scotia plans to start a self-regulated lobster fishery

Another First Nation in Nova Scotia plans to start a self-regulated lobster fishery

The TMX Group logo, home of the TSX, is shown in Toronto on June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
North American stock markets flat a week ahead of U.S. election

North American stock markets flat a week ahead of U.S. election

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau adjusts his mask as he leaves a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. About 130 tech CEOs in Canada are accusing the prime minister of ignoring the needs of the innovation economy and being slow to enact data and intellectual property policies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We need a champion in government’: Tech CEOs want prosperity strategy from Trudeau

‘We need a champion in government’: Tech CEOs want prosperity strategy from Trudeau

The corporate logo of Teck Resources Limited is shown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Vancouver miner says sale of oilsands stake more likely as output allowed to rise

Vancouver miner says sale of oilsands stake more likely as output allowed to rise

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds split rapid-housing cash between big cities, offer up rest for projects

Feds split rapid-housing cash between big cities, offer up rest for projects

Most Read