California to force rail companies to come clean on Holocaust role

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Rail companies will be forced to come clean on their role in transporting Nazi victims during the Holocaust when they bid for a multi-billion-pound contract to operate a new bullet train in California.

A Democratic politician in the US state is pushing to make it a requirement that any involvement in taking people to work, concentration, prisoner of war, or extermination camps between January 1942 and December 1944 must be disclosed.
The proposal is specifically aimed at SNCF, the French national railway operator, which is expected to apply for a contract to run the new $45 billion (£30 billion) high speed link between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

But the measure will also affect any rail firms from Germany, Japan, Spain, and Italy that were involved in transporting prisoners during the Second World War.
Executives at Japanese companies are said to be particularly concerned that they may face a public backlash if forced to reveal details of their treatment of American prisoners of war.

The companies will have to provide records of their operations and details of whether they paid restitution to victims.

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