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NS appoints committee on individual compensation for World War II.

On 27 November, NS announced its intention to form a committee to consider questions of individual compensation to survivors and direct family members of people affected by the fact that NS operated trains on behalf of the occupying forces during World War II. We understand that this may raise some questions, so this portfolio provides more information about why we have taken this step and which actions are currently being taken.

Where can I find the most recent information about this topic?

Any news about the committee or related issues will be posted here and at our news site as soon as it becomes available.

Why is NS forming this committee?

During World War II, NS operated trains under orders from the occupying forces. This is a dark page in the history of our country and of our company, but we do not wish to ignore it. Mr. Salo Muller, a survivor of the holocaust, has met with President-Director Van Boxtel many times, and these meetings have indicated that the issue of individual compensation needs to be addressed. NS is of the opinion that long legal proceedings would benefit no one, so the company has decided to appoint a committee instead of having the courts decide on the issue of legal liability.  

What will the committee do?

The committee will be charged to investigate the moral grounds for NS paying individual compensation. As part of that work, it will consider the issue of how to organise individual compensation to survivors and direct family members. 

How much money will the committee pay out?

That has not yet been determined.

Who will be appointed to the committee?

Former Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr. Job Cohen, has expressed his willingness to chair the committee on Individual Compensation to Victims of NS Transports During World War II. The other committee members will include Ms. Lilian Goncalves and Ms. Ellen van der Waerden. Eva van Ingen has been appointed as Secretary of the committee.

Who will be eligible for individual compensation?

That will be announced at a later date. 

I think that I may be eligible for individual compensation. Should I notify NS?

At the moment, it is unclear how compensation will be made and for whom the compensation is intended. So it is not yet possible to register with NS. We expect that this issue will be decided upon sometime in 2019. 

Why has NS chosen to only remember the victims collectively for so long, and not to grant compensation to individuals?

We were of the opinion that individual amounts could never make up for the history and the suffering that had been caused. An individual compensation is by definition too little, too late. Over the past decades, NS has therefore chosen to collectively commemorate the suffering that so many people had experienced, in order to continue to learn, honour, and remember.

What does NS mean by 'collective remembering'?

NS honours and remembers the victims of World War II, and of the holocaust in particular, by investing in monuments, exhibitions, and education. In so doing, NS contributes to keeping the memory of World War II and the holocaust alive. NS is actively involved in the memorial centre Westerbork, supports the 4 and 5 May Foundation, the Sobibor Foundation, and the recent opening of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam. NS also manages and maintains more than 100 monuments at or near stations in the Netherlands, out of respect for all victims and their families.

Do you have any questions?

If you have any other questions, please feel free to send them to: hamelynck@ns.nl.