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Dutch Railway Company To Pay Holocaust Families Compensation

Dutch railway company NS will pay tens of millions of Euros to Holocaust victims and their families for their role in during WW2.

NS, a state-owned company, admitted in 2005 it had operated trains for Nazi's during the German occupation.

It said it had made today's equivalent of about €2.5 million (AU$4 million) for its part in the transportation of Dutch Jews.

Exhibition on the Train of Remembrance  of deported children and youths from the Westerbork in the Netherlands to the extermination camps. Photo: Getty

On Wednesday, the company agreed to pay survivors €15,000 (AU$24,000), while the children and spouses of deceased victims will receive between €5,000 and €7,000 (AU$8,000 and AU$11,000).

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Starting in 1941, Jewish families in the Netherlands were taken to Westerbork, a Dutch transit camp, and deported to concentration camps, mainly Auschwitz and Sobibor, on NS trains. The last train left in 1944.

The concentration camp "Westerbork", exterior view with barrack. Photo: Getty

Of the 107,000 Jews deported from Westerbork, it is estimated only 5,000 survived. Among those deported also included 245 Sinti and Roma peoples.

In November last year, the company organised a committee to discuss how it could compensate the victims and their families, after a campaign was launched by Dutch Holocaust survivor Salo Muller.

"The committee will consider the question of how an individual contribution to survivors and immediate relatives can be shaped ," it said in statement.

Holocaust victim Salo Muller (L), chairman Job Cohen (C) and president director of NS Roger van Boxtel (R) during a presentation, in Utrecht, Netherlands, 26 June 2019. The Committee presented advice of the Individual Allowance Victims WWII Transporten NS, on how the Dutch Railways could pay compensation to people who were put on transport during WWII. EPA/KOEN VAN WEEL

Muller's parents were transported from Westerbork to Auschwitz on the trains when he was five. They both died at the camp.

His campaign for compensation from NS began after the French government agreed to pacy $60 million to a U.S. fund set up for survivors and relatives in 2015.

Contact the author at jdunne@networkten.com.au.