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United States Senate WASHINGTON, D¢ 20510 August 4, 2010 The Honorale Ray Lal food Seeretary of Transportation United State Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE ‘Washington, DC 20590 ‘The Honorable Joseph Szabo ‘Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration United State Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590 Dear Secretary LaHood and Administrator Szabo: ‘As supporters of expanded high-speed rail in the U.S., we want to commend the Administration for its strong advocacy of this economically important and environmentally sensitive mode of transportation. We write to you today regarding one company in particular ~ SNCF — which has, based on publicly available information, expressed interest in developing. implementing, and operating new high-speed services in the Federal Railroad Administration designated California, Florida, Midwest, and Texas High Speed Rail Corridors. Inthe event that you are not aware oftheir troubling historical background, we ‘want to bring fo your attention legislation introduced in both the Senate and the House (S. 28 and H.R. 4237, respectively) which seeks to auldress allegations conceming the {eporation of eurrent U.S. citizens and ethers (including U.S. Airmen) te Nazi concentration camps during World War ion trains owned and operated by SNCF. We have heard haunting personal accounts from survivors - some our own constituents — about their horrific experiences and those of their loved ones on SNC trains bound for the concentration camps SNCF collaborated willingly with the Nazi regime. ‘The President of SNCF pointed out in November, 1941 that, in accordance with the politics of collaboration, SNCF was prepared to assist Germany. as long as the basic needs of France were assured. SNCF provided the enyployees and eats for 72 convoys in which it packed current U. citizens, relatives of U.S. citizens, and US. Air Force pilots who had been shot down over France, and delivered them to unspeakable horrors ai Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and ‘other concentration camps, SNCF was paid for such deportations per head, per kilometer, Hundreds of U.S. citizens have brought suit against SNCF for the commission of ‘war crimes and crimes against humanity. SNCF has never denied these allegations, but has simply argued that it cannot be held accountable in U.S. courts and has Sought to hide behind the Foreign Sovereign Immuni heard. es Act, denying the vietims their chance to be AAs you can imagine, this issue is ofthe utmost concer to us, and to many Americans. In light of the tremendous expenditure of billions of dollars in taxpayer monies occurring in connection with the development of high-speed rail in the U.S., we Want to ensure that the Department of Transportation has afforded this troubling issue the appropriate consideration. We would hope and expect that the U.S. Government would insist that any contractor seeking to benefit from such multi-billion dollar contracting ‘opportunities would have acted in a responsible fashion in forthrightly addressing these concerns of American citizens. In the interest of ensuring that this is handled expeditiously and effectively, we request that you provide us with a response regarding (1) your understanding of the role SNCF had in the transportation and deportation of persons during World War 1110 concentration and death camps: (2) whether SNCF has provided any restitution or reparations to uny of the survivors of these deportations or to the surviving Families of those transported by SNCF to concentration and death eamps; and (3) the steps you are taking lo address this issue, Rurbarch pelle Bau Cake Barbara A. Mikulski Benjamin L. Cardin United States Senator United States Senator