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Schwarzenegger vetoes bill that would have targeted French high-speed rail firm with Holocaust past

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed legislation that would have required rail companies interested in working on the California high-speed train project to admit whether they transported people to concentration camps during World War II.

Though he said he sympathized with the victims of Nazi death camps, the governor rejected the proposed Holocaust Survivors Responsibility Act on Thursday night, contending that it would have needlessly placed the state in a position of acknowledging the activities of companies during a war that ended 65 years ago.

The bill by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) would have forced companies to disclose their role in wartime atrocities if they submitted bids to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is planning an 800-mile system from San Diego to San Francisco.

Though Japanese and German firms would have been subject to the law, Blumenfield specifically targeted SNCF, the French railroad that the Germans used to ship civilians and prisoners of war to concentration camps. Blumenfield said the government-owned firm has neither taken responsibility for its role in the Holocaust nor paid restitution to victims.

"Not all is lost because of the veto, but it is a major setback," said Blumenfield, who added that he might reintroduce the measure next year. "On the positive side, SNCF has promised it will implement the bill. I want to hold them to that."

SNCF, which stands for Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais, operates most of France's railroads, including the TGV high-speed train service.

Company officials assert that SNCF was taken over by the Nazis during the German occupation of France from May 1940 to December 1944. According to the railway, about 800 SNCF workers were executed for disobeying orders; another 1,200 were sent to concentration camps.

-- Dan Weikel

Comments () | Archives (7)

Anybody else just automatically assume Blumenfield must drive a either Mercedes or a BMW?

Quick, someone hand me a Bayer aspirin.


Nice to know that Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield and the rest of the legislatures have time to address these important issues. Too bad they don't see the state budget and reducing our deficit in the same light.

Don't forget that the American company, International Business machines, enabled the nazi's orderly and efficient rail transportation system in Eastern Europe, which, in conjunction with the newly computerized census, made the seemingly impossible, at that time, annihilation of millions of innocents. It was good for the business. The CEO of IBM at the time was not the technocrat our generation would have expected. He was driven by a corporate ethos that valued things over people, and covertly sold his good to the axis powers despite rigid laws against such sales.

Thank YOU Governor Schwarzenegger fore vetoing this pathetic agenda of special interest groups that refuse to let the dead rest - after 70 years. The ad nausea re-hashing of the Holocaust, Nazi movies and remakes, and the plight of Israel as global troublemaker needs to STOP. It is pathetic and makes many millions want to just puke. It's time to GET OVER IT and MOVE ON.

"about 800 SNCF workers were executed for disobeying orders; another 1,200 were sent to concentration camps." they weren't jews so they don't count, right blumenfield?

Gosh, I wonder if someone would pass a law that requires firms or individuals to disclose if they ever used or employed slaves ? Imagine if we prevented them from ever bidding on state contracts? now that sounds silly, but this, of course makes sense... I've heard enough. I am truly shocked this crap even made it to a vote.

Considering that Schwarzenegger's daddy was a Nazi bastard, this should come as no surprise. This is the human garbage that Californians voted into office TWICE.


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