Legal Successors

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German ministry of transport refuses financial support for the "Commemoration Train" with its exhibition dedicated to the victims of the Nazi "Reichsbahn"-deportations. At the same time, the Deutsche Bahn AG is demanding that the organizers of the train exhibition pay track tolls and tens of thousands of Euros to display photos and last letters of the deportees during stopovers in German train stations. The Deutsche Bahn's management declined to waive the fees, provoking strong reactions from the unexpected large number of visitors to the "Train of Commemoration" exposition. According to the organizers, over 20,000 people have visited the train since it began its journey on November 8, 2007. If the organizers would meet all the demands for stopovers arriving from all corners of Germany, the length of the route would have to be doubled. The Ministry of Transport under Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD) has categorically refused to help pay the costs. As co-owner of the Bahn AG, the transport ministry is wallowing in wealth and is supervising billions in acquisitions of foreign railway companies. In a few days, the Bahn AG will inaugurate a new ICE-route to Denmark after taking control of two thirds of the British rail freight transportation. Through a subsidiary, the Bahn AG is also involved in war logistics.

Success

In a letter (on hand at German-foreign-policy.com), the German Ministry of Transport refuses "on legal grounds" all financial support of this commemoration of children and youth deported from all over Europe. After months of waiting, the citizens' initiatives, soliciting the aid, are being informed that the ministry does not have the "budgetary authorization". But they are not told how to file such an application that could lead to an authorization. At the end of the letter, on behalf of the Minister, the head of the "Political Planning" division wishes "success" and recommends that others should pay for the "Train of Commemoration".[1]

In Charge

As the authority in charge of the German rail traffic, the German Ministry of Transport is the legal successor of the "Reichverkehrsministerium" (the Nazis' Reich's Ministry of Transport), which was in charge of the mass deportations and received millions in profits through the "Deutsche Reichsbahn". As the "Commemoration Train" demonstrates, the former Minister of Transport in the German Reich, Julius Dorpmüller, was in charge of the systematic exclusion of Jewish victims and was responsible for aiding and abetting the mass murder of millions of people, among them approximately 1,5 Million children and youth from Germany and the occupied European nations.

Continuity

The German Bundesbahn cherished Dorpmüller's memory and paid for the maintenance of his grave. The railway company has provided several railway stations with "Dorpmüller Halls". Even streets have been named after the former Nazi Minister. A study, ordered by the acting Minister of Transport Tiefensee, was recently published on this continuity. This publication, costing tens of thousands of Euros, is only being circulated among specialists and kept away from the public.[2] It serves an alibi function and was ordered only after years of public protest in the railway stations that attracted particularly the attention of foreign media.[3] Today, the media is once again interested [4] - this time in the expansionist activities of the Bahn AG. Through buying up complete foreign railway companies, the Bahn AG has become the most important European logistician and, stemming from its history, is once again arousing fears.

Optimizing the Link-Up

Last Monday, the Deutsche Bahn AG announced its most recent expansion. Already today, the German company is dominating the European market in rail transport for both passenger and freight. It is increasingly transporting passengers to other European countries. Last June it inaugurated its ICE-Paris connection and is planning to expand its cross-border passenger transport. In a few days the ICE-Denmark connection will be inaugurated, and others will follow. To further enhance its position in the European freight transport, last summer the Bahn AG bought the majority of its Spanish competitor Transfesa "to optimize the freight transport to Southern Europe", as the company explains.[5] A few days ago, the EU-Commission approved the take-over of the English Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS). With EWS being the largest British freight train company, the Deutsche Bahn AG will control two thirds of all British rail freight transport.[6] As was announced on November 26, this new Bahn AG subsidiary will triple the Channel transit beginning in January, thereby "optimizing Great Britain's link-up with the German rail network".[7]

Eurasian Economic Sector

The Deutsche Bahn AG is using it's enormous profits (2,5 Billion in 2006) to expand beyond Europe. Last summer the world's second largest logistic company could announce a "breakthrough" for its project to expand its rail transport via Russia to China through a joint-venture with the Russian Railway (RZD). The head of the German rail company Hartmut Mehdorn intends to move into the state owned railway in the People's Republic of China. "Of all the EU railway companies and logisticians, the Deutsche Bahn AG has the most advantageous position in the booming Eurasian economic sector", estimates Mehdorn.[8] The company's plans not only include East-Asian rail communication but also a "link-up" with the Arabian Peninsula. Since some time, the Bahn AG has been active in Turkey and is trying to get a rail network straight through Saudi Arabia to the Persian Gulf.[9] Accompanied by the German chancellor, Mehdorn held negotiations in India, just a few weeks ago. Already last year, his company concluded a contract enabling him to move onto the Indian market.[10]

Military Logistics

The Deutsche Bahn AG has in the meantime directly profited from the growing German military activities. Schenker, the Deutsche Bahn AG subsidiary, is managing Bundeswehr depots and taking over transport. The growing privatization of Bundeswehr logistics involves huge sums of money: three billion Euros, as a by-product of German military expansion.[11] The Deutsche Bahn AG would like to profit and is seeking more contracts.

[1] Appell an den Bundestag; www.zug-der-erinnerung.eu 26.11.2007
[2] Alfred Gottwaldt/Diana Schulle: "Juden ist die Benutzung von Speisewagen untersagt". Berlin 2007
[3] see also our EXTRA-Dossier Elftausend Kinder
[4] Holocaust train sets off to tell the story of Auschwitz; The Independent 13.11.2007
[5] Stärkung der Schiene Richtung Spanien im Güterverkehr; Pressemitteilung der Deutschen Bahn AG 27.07.2007
[6] s. dazu Der Herr der Schienen
[7] DB-Tochter EWS verdreifacht ab kommendem Jahr Kombinierten Verkehr auf der Schiene durch Kanaltunnel; Pressemitteilung der Deutschen Bahn AG 26.11.2007
[8] see also Zukunftsmärkte jenseits deutscher Grenzen
[9] see also Die neue Bagdad-Bahn, German Industrial Standard (DIN) and Erhebliches Potenzial
[10] see also Der dritte Pfeiler
[11] see also Effizienzgewinn