Today, justice was served. The U.S., government and the State of France announced a compensation package from the SNCF – the French national railway – for their role in deporting 76,000 Jews from France during WW11. Better still, there will be an official apology from the company. The agreement, to be officially signed in the U.S. on Monday, will have to be ratified by the French parliament.
Frankly, I never thought I would live to see this day happen. Yet, it was my belief in justice that propelled me to write the story of my search for my uncle, Benjamin Albaum, one of 76,000 French Jews transported by the SNCF from France to the death camp of Auschwitz. Of that number only 2,500 survived. No amount of money or apologies can bring back their lives or take away the suffering and humiliation the victims suffered. But, as my daughter suggested when I shed a tear this evening, it may bring long overdue closure to survivors and victims’ families.