"This train is for Auschwitz"

Belgium's state-owned railway company has filed a complaint with the judicial authorities against persons unknown. On 31 January an unidentified person seized control of the intercom on board the Liège-Brussels service and proceeded to welcome travellers to the service for Auschwitz.

The incident happened as the train arrived at Ottignies. The unidentified person was not a member of the train's crew, but did manage to gain access to the intercom.

He went on to announce: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are travelling to Auschwitz. All Jews are requested to alight in order to take a shower."

Several press outlets in southern Belgium have labelled the incident a 'misplaced joke'.

Following an internal enquiry the rail company decided to file a complaint with the Belgian judicial authorities. The company has vigorously condemned the words spoken and this is a message it has also passed on to Jewish organisations in Belgium. Belgian rail stresses that abuse of a train's PA system that forms part of the safety system on board trains is a crime that can lead to a fine or a custodial sentence.