It was late in the afternoon on Aug. 15, a Wednesday, when the jury delivered its verdict to a Santa Monica courtroom.
Alain Lipietz, a French deputy in the European Parliament whose father and uncle were rounded up and sent to a holding area during the war, won a cash indemnity worth about $77,000 from the SNCF -- the railway is appealing the case. More than 1,000 people, both Jews and non-Jews, have filed similar claims since the Lipietz case in Toulouse last summer.
Esther Swirk Brown wasn't the Brown for whom the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case desegregating schools is named -- but she is the Jewish woman who helped find Oliver Brown, no relation, to be the lead plaintiff in the historic case.
As a young woman in Kansas, Esther Brown was horrified by the conditions of the school that black children, including the children of her housekeeper, were forced to attend. The one-room schoolhouse in South Park had dilapidated walls and missing light bulbs.