Over 7,600 people have applied for compensation from Dutch state railway company NS for its role in the deportation of Jews, Roma and Sinti to the concentration camps during World War II, broadcaster NOS reports.
Tuesday was the last day applications could be made to a commission led by former Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen. Over 5,000 victims and close family members have received compensation so far.
The NS was commissioned by the Nazis to take an estimated 100,000 Jewish, Roma and Sinti people in special trains to holding camps in Westerbork, Vught and Amersfoort, where they lived before being taken to death camps in the east.
The company is said to have been paid some €2.5m for this – a payment the company describes as ‘a black page’ in its history.
The railway group said last year it expected to pay at least €35m to around 6,000 survivors or next of kin: €15,000 to each of the estimated 500 direct survivors, €7,500 to widows or widowers and €5,000 or €7,500 to children of the victims.
Holocaust survivor Salo Muller, 83, who drove the campaign for compensation, told the broadcaster he is now focusing on getting compensation from German rail company Deutsche Bahn.
He has already sent a letter to Angela Merkel who said she would study his request. ‘I am very happy she didn’t dismiss it out of hand,’ Muller told the broadcaster.
Muller said he had a ‘bucket list’ that included Amsterdam public transport company GVB and the police. ‘The GVB is keeping quiet but they know what I’m doing. Why not invite me for a cup of coffee? They are just as guilty as the NS. And I also want to discuss the role of the police. Many people do not have a clue of what went on.’
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