“The NS complied with the German order to make trains available,” Dirk Mulder from the National Westerbork Memorial told Dutch TV last year. “The Germans paid for it and said the NS had to come up with a timetable. And the company went and did it without a word of objection.”
NS made an estimated €2.5m (£2.2; $2.8m) in today’s terms, Dutch public broadcaster NOS estimates, in transporting Jews from across the Netherlands to the Westerbork camp.
Westerbork became a transit camp in 1941 and the first deportees left on 15 July 1942. The final train left on 13 September 1944, with 279 Jews on board. Among those deported from the camp were 245 Sinti and Roma.
Who is Salo Muller?
Salo Muller is a former physiotherapist at top Amsterdam football club Ajax.
In 1941, when he was five, his parents were arrested by the Nazis and put on a train from the capital Amsterdam to Westerbork, where they spent nine weeks before being deported to Auschwitz and murdered.
He decided to act when he heard that the French government had agreed a $60m compensation fund with the US to be distributed among thousands of survivors and their relatives.
After a number of meetings with NS chief executive Roger Boxtel, the company decided a commission would be set up to work out how to compensate survivors and immediate family.
“I don’t think I would have dared dream of this outcome,” he told Dutch TV in an emotional interview. “For me it means that the NS recognised that this pain has not gone. The grief is still there for very many Jewish people.”