Dutch damages to Jews inspire Libya-IRA terror victims

Diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank was deported from Amsterdam via a three-day train journey to Auschwitz
Diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank was deported from Amsterdam via a three-day train journey to Auschwitz

Proactive efforts by the Dutch national rail company to compensate Jews for deporting them in WWII have given victims of Libyan-IRA terrorism hope that the north African state will similarly recognise their claim for damages.

In recent days the Dutch national railway company said it will set up a commission to investigate how it can pay individual reparations for its role in mass deportations of Jews by Nazi occupiers during WWII.

The Dutch rail company, NS, said that its involvement in the deportations “is a black page in the history of our country and our company”.

More than 100,000 Jews, 70% of the Dutch Jewish community, did not survive the war. Most were deported from the Netherlands and were killed in Nazi concentration camps.

Jonathan Ganesh, who suffered severe injuries in the 1996 IRA Canary Wharf bomb attack in London, welcomed the actions by the Dutch rail company, and said it gave hope to victims of Libya-IRA terror attacks.

As with IRA bombings at Harrods in 1983, the Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen in 1987 and Warrington in 1993, Canary Wharf was carried out with Semtex given to the IRA by Libya.

Mr Ganesh, president of Docklands Victims Association (DVA), said he had worked with many victims of the Holocaust in East London Jewish’s community.

“We are very pleased that a commission has finally been set up by the Dutch railway company to pay individuals reparation for its role in the mass deportation of Jews to Nazi concentration camps,” he said.

“I praised the victims’ courage who have campaigned for their loved ones for decades to receive this acknowledgment. All horrific crimes against humanity should be acknowledged; and with their determination to be acknowledged, those victims have given hope to Gaddafi/IRA victims in the UK and Republic of Ireland that Libya will likewise take responsibility for arming the IRA and the subsequent murders and injuries.”

UUP peer Lord Empey said the Dutch were setting a clear example that Libya should follow.

“It just goes to prove the point that countries can admit liability for their former leaders and regimes,” he said.

“In the case of Gaddafi and Libya, even though there is a new government their liability to IRA victims still remains outstanding.”

The Libyan Embassy in the UK declined to comment.