In 2001, a civil action lawsuit was taken by families of survivors of the Holocaust against the French government owned railroad, Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF). This and other similar lawsuits came before U.S. courts in several states because the SNCF was bidding on contracts to build railroads in the U.S., although they had participated in Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” by deporting 60,000+ Jews to death camps such as Auschwitz. This lawsuit and others were all dismissed from U.S. courts based on jurisdiction issues. In December 2014, the French and U.S. governments negotiated a settlement for $60 million. This paper will look at the legality of this case as well as the ethical aspect of demanding reparations from “perpetrators” who did not participate in the Holocaust and “victims” who never really experienced the Holocaust.
Lucas Conley is a history major with a focus in ancient history and classical studies. He plans to go on after receiving his B.A. in history from Kent State University to study for his Masters of Divinity and, Lord willing, become a pastor. The topic of the Holocaust is somewhat distant from ancient and classical studies, however it has a special place in his memory and journey as a historian and a Christian. The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. was where Lucas first found a love for history because he wanted the world to learn from the atrocities of the Nazis and their “Final Solution” on God’s chosen people.