In a Week of Ceremonies to Mark the 80th Anniversary of the Outbreak of WWII Belgian Railways Passed the Buck on Acknowledgement of Deportation of 25,431 Jews to Auschwitz

September 8, 2019

In a letter to Belgian Railways (NMBS/SNCB) CEO, Sophie Dutordoir, the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled his letter of 14 April 2019, in support of the campaign launched by the Royal Society for Jewish Welfare (RSJW) in Antwerp. This campaign seeks a just acknowledgement of the NMBS/SNCB deportation of 25,431 Jews from the Mechelen/Breendonk concentration camps directly to their murder in the Auschwitz gas chambers.


For some 76 years, Belgian Railways have remained silent regarding its complicity in a crime against humanity.


Samuels expressed outrage at learning that, “you have passed the buck on this question to the Senate - a cynical move to shelve the issue in view of the continued absence of a Belgian federal government.”


The Centre urged the CEO “to act swiftly, by providing the RSJW and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre access to your archives, in order to set the record straight regarding the Nazi occupation and their collaborators.”


The letter proposed that “it would be appropriate for NMBS/SNCB to grant a fitting indemnification to support the social services of the RSJW for Holocaust survivors.”


“Madam, time is running out for them and further obfiscation and procrastination can only strengthen the satisfaction of Holocaust deniers and antisemites - an image that Belgian Railways would surely not wish to convey,” concluded Samuels.


For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at +33 147 237 637, join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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