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Holocaust Survivor Dies Before Maryland Reparations Hearing

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A Holocaust survivor has died, days before giving testimony on a reparations bill. The bill says the state should enter into contracts with companies associated with the Holocaust only if reparations are made.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains how the death of Leo Bretholz brought others forward Monday.

Rosette Goldstein came to Annapolis from Florida to tell her story.

“Had they found me, [the people who kept me safe] would either have been on an SS train or they would have been shot,” she said.

She is testifying on a bill that was the passion of Holocaust survivor and Baltimore County resident Leo Bretholz, who in 2011 told his story of escape from a cattle car en route to Auschwitz.

“To remember what happened in that train,” he said.

A French company tied to those trains that transported Jews is bidding on a contract to supply cars to Maryland’s purple line.

“You know how they got paid sending people to their death? Per head and per kilometer,” he said.

Bretholz died Saturday, so Goldstein came forward.

“Only because of Leo,” she said.

Representatives of the company SNCF limited dispute Monday to the nature of its role.

“I think that today out of respect for Mr. Bretholz and all Holocaust survivors, we’re not discussing the commercial issue,” said Alain Leray.

The debate continues.

“It will never pay to do evil things,” said Bretholz.

Bretholz’ funeral is Tuesday.

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