I want to submit an application, is this still possible?
It is no longer possible to submit an application for compensation. The scheme was in effect for a period of one year, from 5 August 2019 to 5 August 2020.
What will happen to the data from the applications?
The information you provided when submitting an application was used solely for the purpose of assessing the application and will be destroyed as soon as possible once it is no longer necessary to retain that data. This means that all address, contact and bank details; copies of passports; extracts from the Personal Records Database (BRP); inheritance documents and bank statements will be removed and destroyed. The privacy statement, which is available here, explains in greater detail which personal data have been collected, the purpose for which the data was collected and how long these personal data will be retained. It also informs those who have applied for individual compensation of their rights with regard to their personal data. All remaining data will be transferred to an archive.
What did the scheme entail?
All information can be found in the Payment Scheme. The complete Payment Scheme is available in both Dutch and English.
What was the core of the advice?
- The Committee recommended that a scheme be established to provide financial compensation to stakeholders, or their surviving lineal descendants, who were still alive on 27 November 2018, the date on which NS and Salo Muller reached agreement that this Scheme should be put in place.
- The Scheme was to be opened to those who were transported from the Netherlands from the Jewish community and from the Roma and Sinti communities to concentration and extermination camps outside the Netherlands. In addition, those from the Jewish and Roma and Sinti communities who were transported to Westerbork, Vught, or Amersfoort by order of the occupying forces with a view to transporting them to concentration or extermination camps outside the Netherlands are eligible.
- Persons from the aforementioned groups are referred to as ‘Stakeholders’ in the advice. If they were no longer alive, their widow/widower was eligible. If the Stakeholder did not have a widow/widower at the time of death or if the widow/widower also died, the children of the Stakeholder were jointly eligible for compensation.
- Those who were not placed in Camp Westerbork (then still a refugee camp) by order of the occupier, but by order of the Dutch government in the period October 1939 to 1 July 1942, and were not transported from there to concentration or extermination camps abroad, were not eligible for the Scheme.
- In addition to the individual compensation scheme, the Committee recommended that NS carry out in-depth historical research into its role during the Second World War. Representatives of the groups consulted expressly stated that there was a great need for more information and historical insight into the role played by NS during the war. The Committee endorsed this, especially now that it has become apparent that the perspective of ‘transportations during the war’ in its entirety has never been the subject of historical research. Investigating sources that can shed more light on the execution of transportations commissioned by the occupying forces can increase understanding of this episode in the history of the company, contribute to the historical perspective on the war years in the Netherlands and thus also do justice to all victims who are not covered by the individual compensation on which this advice has been issued.
 The study of A.J.C. Rüter, Rijden en Staken. De Nederlandse Spoorwegen in Oorlogstijd [Operating rail services and going on strike, Dutch Railways in wartime], published in 1960, only deals with this to a very limited extent.
What form did the individual compensations take?
The Committee recommended, partly on the basis of an examination of other schemes, that the individual payment be composed as follows:
- For all persons from the Jewish community and the Roma and Sinti communities who are still alive who were transported by rail to Westerbork, Vught or Amersfoort during the Second World War by order of the occupying forces with the aim of transporting them to a concentration or extermination camp outside the national borders, or from other locations in the Netherlands directly to concentration and extermination camps abroad, a payment of €15,000.
- If these transportees died during or after the war, a compensation of €7,500 applies for the widow or widower.
- If the transported person did not have a widow or widower at the time of death, or if he or she had died in the meantime, the children of the transported person who were still alive were jointly eligible for an allowance, as follows: if the oldest child still alive was born before 8 May 1945, a payment of €7,500, together; if the oldest child was born after that date, a payment amounting to €5,000 for the children together.
The Scheme was always based on the situation as it was on 27 November 2018, the date on which NS decided to create the Scheme. This means that legal heirs replaced any person who was eligible for individual compensation on 27 November 2018 but died after that date.
How did the Committee determine the scope of the Scheme?
The Committee contacted historians and researchers working at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies; the Nationaal Archief (the national archives of the Netherlands); the Red Cross; Camp Westerbork, Vught and Amersfoort Memorial Centres; Stichting 1940-1945; the Social Insurance Bank (SVB); and Statistics Netherlands (CBS). They were asked, among other things, about the historical context of the transportations to camps inside and outside the Netherlands, the different groups that came into contact with them and the number of people involved within those groups that might now be able to apply for the Scheme. In this way, the Committee sought to arrive at a well-founded picture of which groups fitted within the limits set by NS.
How did the Committee arrive at these amounts?
The Committee has examined which schemes, whether established in the past or existing now, could assist in drawing up the requested opinion. To this end, the Committee created a benchmark in which schemes are included for individual reparations for victims of the Second World War. Among other things, the following were examined: the compensation fund of the French Railway Company (SNCF); the individual payments of the Maror Funds Foundation; Het Gebaar (The Gesture) foundation (for the Dutch East Indian community); The National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism in Austria; the Volkswagen Humanitarian Fund; the Siemens Humanitarian Aid Fund and the scheme of IG Farben Krupp and AEG Telefunken.
In addition, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven) and the Decree on Compensation for Emotional Losses (Besluit Vergoeding Affectieschade) were examined.
It was found that historically there are no identical cases. However, standards have arisen for the determination of intangible loss or damage and the ranges used have provided guidance for the determination of the amounts.
Why was this Committee set up?
During the Second World War, by order of the occupying forces, Dutch Railways (NS) transported people from the Netherlands to the national borders, destined for concentration and extermination camps abroad. The occupier ordered these transportations for the purpose of genocide. NS sent the occupier invoices for this. Many of the deportees were killed in these extermination camps. NS regards its cooperation with the deportations by the occupying forces to be a black page in the history of the company. NS has therefore decided, on moral grounds, to offer individual financial compensation to those most directly affected by its actions. The initiative is a result of talks between NS and Holocaust survivor Salo Muller, both of whose parents did not survive the camps.
Who are the members of the Committee?
Job Cohen is the chairman of the Committee, which also consists of Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You and Ellen van der Waerden. Eva van Ingen has been appointed Committee secretary.
What was the Committee’s mandate?
- To publish an advisory report to NS on the question of how individual compensation for survivors and next of kin of the transportations described above during the Second World War can be implemented.
- To ensure the actual implementation of the Scheme involved. To this end, NS has set up the Foundation for Individual Compensation for Victims of Second World War Transport by the NS (Stichting Individuele Tegemoetkoming Slachtoffers WOII Transporten NS), and has asked the members of the Committee to form its board.