Holocaust survivor wants compensation from Germany for rail journeys to death camps

Dutch Holocaust survivor Salo Muller is seeking redress on behalf of victims who often had to pay railway fares for their own deportations.

(CNN)A Dutch Holocaust survivor whose parents died at Auschwitz is demanding compensation from Germany, as well as from the country's rail network, which transported Jews to Nazi concentration camps -- often at their own cost.

In 2018, Salo Muller successfully lobbied the Dutch state-owned railway company for an apology and compensation to victims and their surviving relatives who were transported on its trains toward Nazi death camps during World War II.
Nederlandse Spoorwegen agreed to settle the case with 500 survivors and thousands of their direct descendants.
    Holocaust victim Salo Muller (L) and president director of Dutch railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen Roger van Boxtel (R) during a presentation in Utrecht, Netherlands, on June 26, 2019.
    Now the 84-year-old, a former physiotherapist for Amsterdam's Ajax football club, has written to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and is seeking compensation from her government, as well as from the national railway company, Deutsche Bahn.
    According to Muller's own website, his parents were taken to the Westerbork camp in the northeast of the Netherlands in 1941, when he was 5 years old. From there, they were taken to Auschwitz, where they were killed. Muller's mother had been picked up in a raid shortly after she dropped him off at kindergarten; he spent the rest of the war in hiding.
    According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Dutch government set up the camp at Westerbork in 1939 to hold Jewish refugees who had entered the Netherlands illegally, many from Germany.
    Between 1942 and 1944, following the German invasion of the Netherlands, Westerbork served as a transit camp for Dutch Jews before they were deported to Nazi death camps in German-occupied Poland.
    Between July 1942 and September 3, 1944, the Germans deported 97,776 Jews from Westerbork; nearly 55,000 of them were sent to Auschwitz and more than 34,000 to Sobibor, according to the USHMM. Most were murdered on arrival.