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US seeks deal with France on Nazi rail deportations

Flowers left by survivors lay over the names of concentration camps at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on April 21, 2009 during the Holocaust Remembrance DayThe US State Department said Wednesday it hopes to be able to reach a deal with France to compensate Jews transported to Nazi concentration camps during World War II on French trains. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed Washington and Paris are discussing “compensation for victims of deportations by rail from France to Nazi labor and death camps as well as for victims’ families.” But she criticised state lawmakers in Maryland, some of whom are seeking to take their own action against the French rail firm SNCF, a move she said had “begun to pose a serious obstacle to achieving this goal.” During the occupation of France by Germany the Nazi regime deported almost 76,000 Jews to concentration camps in French freight cars between 1942 and 1944.

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