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Projet de loi autorisant l'approbation de l'accord entre le Gouvernement de la République française et le Gouvernement des États-Unis d'Amérique sur l'indemnisation de certaines victimes de la Shoah déportées depuis la France, non couvertes par des programmes français

1 juillet 2015 : Indemnisation de victimes de la Shoah ( rapport - première lecture )

ANNEXE 6 - RECOURS INTENTÉS AUX ETATS-UNIS CONTRE LA SNCF

Un recours a été introduit en 2000 contre la SNCF (procès Abrams c. SNCF) devant un tribunal de New York par des survivants et des ayants droit appuyés par des avocats, pour complicité de crime contre l'Humanité, pour avoir collaboré activement à la déportation des Juifs de France, et en avoir tiré bénéfice. Après condamnation de la SNCF en première instance, le bénéfice de l'immunité de juridiction, instauré par le Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 1976, a été reconnu à la SNCF par la cour d'appel du deuxième circuit fédéral. La Cour Suprême a refusé de se saisir de la requête en annulation déposée par les plaignants contre cet arrêt.

En 2006 (procès Freund c. SNCF), un nouveau recours a été introduit contre la SNCF (ainsi que contre la Caisse des dépôts et consignations et contre l'Etat) sur l'un des griefs pour lesquels l'immunité de juridiction n'est pas opposable : la spoliation. Ce recours introduit à nouveau à New York avec les mêmes avocats a été clos en 2011 par la cour d'appel du deuxième circuit fédéral, qui a jugé que les plaignants n'avaient apporté de preuves convaincantes et par le refus de la Cour Suprême de saisir d'une requête en annulation.

Des instances de mêmes natures ont été introduites en 2010 contre les chemins de fer nationaux hongrois mais elles portaient sur des expropriations (Abelesz c ; Erste Group Bank)/ Illinois et Simon v Republic of Hungary/D.C.). Aucun de ces recours n'a abouti.

ANNEXE 7 - PROPOSITIONS DE LOI DÉPOSÉES AUX ETATS-UNIS

PROPOSITIONS DE LOI DÉPOSÉES AU SÉNAT DES ETATS-UNIS

Proposition de loi pour s'assurer que les Cours de Justice des Etats-Unis ont la possibilité de tenir un procès impartial pour les plaintes déposées par ses citoyens américains ou autres, leurs héritiers ou ayants droit contre tout service de chemins de fer disposant de la personnalité morale, en raison de la déportation de citoyens américains ou autres vers les camps de concentration nazis au moyen de trains possédés ou opérés par lesdits services

S. 1393 (113th): A bill to ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons.

Text

This bill was introduced on July 30, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 30, 2013 (Introduced).

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1393

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 30, 2013

Mr. Schumer (for himself, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Brown, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Casey, Mr. Franken, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Menendez, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Reid, Mr. Rubio, and Mr. Wyden) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Holocaust Rail Justice Act .

2.

Congressional findings

Congress finds as follows:

(1)

During World War II, more than 75,000 Jews and thousands of other persons were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps, on trains operated for profit by the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (in this Act referred to as SNCF), including deportations to Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Numerous citizens and residents of the United States were among those who were on the trains or had relatives on the trains. United States servicemen who were pilots shot down over France were also among the persons deported on the SNCF trains to Nazi concentration camps.

(2)

United States citizens and others have sought redress against SNCF by filing a class action suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The named plaintiffs and class members include United States Army Air Force pilots and United States citizens.

(3)

The complaint filed alleges that SNCF, a separate corporate entity that remained independent during World War II, operated the deportation trains for a profit, as ordinary commercial transactions. SNCF remained under French civilian control throughout World War II and is alleged to have collaborated willingly with the German Nazi regime.

(4)

The complaint alleges that SNCF provided the necessary rolling stock, scheduled the departures, and supplied the employees to operate the trains bound for the concentration camps. SNCF allegedly charged an ordinary passenger coach fare for the deportations, calculated per person and per kilometer, and considered these trains as ordinary commercial activities. The plaintiffs further contend that SNCF herded as many people as possible into each car, requiring passengers of all ages and sexes, including the elderly and young children, to stand throughout the trip of several days' duration, with no provision for food or water and no sanitary facilities. The complaint further alleges that SNCF cleaned the trains after each trip, removing the corpses of persons who perished during transit due to the execrable conditions of the train cars. The destination was in each case a camp in which the deportees were to be exterminated, worked to death, or made to suffer terrible and inhuman conditions.

(5)

The complaint contends that SNCF's actions violated the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, 1950, relating to crimes under international law (earlier recognized by the Martens Clause of the Hague Convention IV of 1907), and aided and abetted the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. SNCF has not denied its actions and has never disgorged the money that it was paid for the deportations or otherwise compensated the deportees or their heirs.

(6)

SNCF's records concerning the deportation trains have not been made available to the plaintiffs, and SNCF archives concerning its wartime activities are not accessible to the general public.

(7)

SNCF moved to dismiss the lawsuit on a claim of sovereign immunity under the foreign sovereign immunities provisions of title 28, United States Code ( 28 U.S.C. 1330 and 1602 et seq.), even though it is one of the 500 largest corporations in the world, earns hundreds of millions of dollars from its commercial activities in the United States, and is not accorded sovereign immunity under the laws of France. SNCF's motion to dismiss the lawsuit was granted by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Plaintiffs appealed the decision, their appeal was granted, and the case was remanded for further proceedings. Subsequently, in light of Republic of Austria v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677 (2004), in November 2004, on remand, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recalled its prior mandate and determined that SNCF was entitled to immunity and affirmed the dismissal of the complaint. The Second Circuit stated that the railroad's conduct at the time lives on in infamy but concluded that the evil actions of the French national railroad's former private masters in knowingly transporting thousands to death camps during World War II are not susceptible to legal redress in Federal court today..

(8)

This lawsuit, which arises from the unique historical facts of the deportation of persons to Nazi concentration camps, presents issues of substantial importance to citizens and veterans of the United States. Many of those who have sought redress against SNCF are elderly and would have difficulty traveling outside the United States in order to pursue their claims elsewhere. The courts of the United States are and should be a proper forum for this lawsuit. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, which had not been enacted at the time of SNCF's actions during World War II, was not intended to bar suit against the SNCF.

3.

Access to United States courts for holocaust deportees

(a) Jurisdiction of district courts

The United States district courts shall have original jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy, of any civil action for damages for personal injury or death that--

(1)

arose from the deportation of persons to Nazi concentration camps during the period beginning on January 1, 1942, and ending on December 31, 1944; and

(2)

is brought by any such person, or any heir or survivor of such person, against a railroad that--

(A) owned or operated the trains on which the persons were so deported; and

(B) was organized as a separate legal entity at the time of the deportation, whether or not any of the equity interest in the railroad was owned by a foreign state.

(b)

Other laws not applicable

Sections 1330 and 1601 through 1611 of title 28, United States Code, or any other law limiting the jurisdiction of the United States courts, whether by statute or under common law, shall not preclude any action under subsection (a).

(c)

Inapplicability of statutes of limitation

An action described in subsection (a) shall not be barred by a defense that the time for bringing such action has expired under a statute of limitations.

(d)

Applicability

This section shall apply to any action pending on January 1, 2002, and to any action commenced on or after that date.

4.

Reporting

In furtherance of international education relating to the Holocaust and historic and continuing anti-Semitism in Europe and throughout the world, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Congress a one-time report, outlining the status of access to wartime records and archives concerning the wartime activities of any railroad organized as a separate legal entity that engaged in the deportation of persons to Nazi concentration camps during the period beginning on January 1, 1942, and ending on December 31, 1944.

S. 28 (111th): A bill to ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons.

Text

This bill was introduced on January 7, 2009, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 7, 2009 (Introduced).

111th CONGRESS

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 7, 2009

Mr. SCHUMER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Même dispositif

PROPOSITIONS DE LOI DÉPOSÉES À LA CHAMBRE DES REPRÉSENTANTS DES ETATS-UNIS

H.R. 1505 (113th): Holocaust Rail Justice Act

Text of the Holocaust Rail Justice Act

This bill was introduced on April 11, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 11, 2013 (Introduced).

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1505

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 11, 2013

Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York (for herself, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Ms. Bass, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. Holt, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Schwartz, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Deutch, Ms. Brown of Florida, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Moran, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. King of New York, Ms. Frankel of Florida, and Mr. Weber of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons, and for other purposes.

Même dispositif que les propositions déposées au Sénat

H.R. 1193 (112th): Holocaust Rail Justice Act

Introduced:

Text of the Holocaust Rail Justice Act

This bill was introduced on March 17, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Mar 17, 2011 (Introduced).

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1193

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 17, 2011

Mrs. Maloney (for herself, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. West, Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Van Hollen) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

Même dispositif que les propositions déposées au Sénat

H.R. 4237 (111th): To ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons.

This bill was introduced on December 8, 2009, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Dec 8, 2009 (Introduced).

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4237

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 8, 2009

Mrs. Maloney (for herself, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, and Mr. Nadler of New York) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Même dispositif que les propositions déposées au Sénat

H.R. 3713 (110th): To ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons.

This bill was introduced on October 1, 2007, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 1, 2007 (Introduced).

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3713

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 1, 2007

Mrs. Maloney of New York (for herself, Mr. Nadler, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, and Mr. Shays) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Même dispositif que les propositions déposées au Sénat

H.R. 474 (109th): To ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons.

This bill was introduced on February 1, 2005, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Feb 1, 2005 (Introduced).

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 474

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 1, 2005

Mrs. Maloney (for herself, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Shays, Mr. Nadler, and Mr. Weiner) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Même dispositif que les propositions déposées au Sénat

H.R. 2954 (108th): To ensure that the courts of the United States may provide an impartial forum for claims brought by United States citizens and others against any railroad organized as a separate legal entity, arising from the deportation of United States citizens and others to Nazi concentration camps on trains owned or operated by such railroad, and by the heirs and survivors of such persons.

This bill was introduced on July 25, 2003, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 25, 2003 (Introduced).

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2954

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 25, 2003

Mrs. MALONEY (for herself and Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Même dispositif que les propositions déposées au Sénat