​<< Au nom de tous les miens >>

Nancy. Un Américain, qui a perdu cinq membres de sa famille dans l’incendie du train Paris-Munich en 2002 à Nancy, entame aujourd’hui, date anniversaire du drame, une marche à pied de 500 km entre Nancy et Munich pour demander à la compagnie ferroviaire allemande Deutsche Bahn (DB) de reconnaître sa responsabilité.

Cette marche « ouverte
 à tous »qui doit durer 
entre 14 et 18 jours, 
commencera à l’endroit
 exact de l’accident qui
 fit 12 morts le 6 novembre
 2002, a expliqué 
Rollin Amore, qui a perdu
 sa mère, son frère, sa 
belle-soeur, sa nièce et son neveu dans cet incendie.

Elle « vise à honorer les victimes, pour terminer le voyage jusqu’à Munich qu’ils n’ont pas pu terminer », a-t-il ajouté.

A l’arrivée en gare de Munich, le marcheur américain compte « appeler la DB à prendre ses responsabilités pour que les victimes et leurs sacrifices ne soient jamais oubliés ».

M. Amore a fait part de sa « déception » après que la Deutsche Bahn et son homologue française la SNCF eurent été relaxées en mai dernier par le tribunal correctionnel de Nancy, à l’issue de deux semaines de procès destinées à déterminer les responsabilités du drame.

Les juges ont considéré que le lien entre les fautes des compagnies ferroviaires et l’incendie n’était pas direct et suffisant. Seul un steward de la DB, Volker Janz, a été condamné à un an d’emprisonnement avec sursis.

Un second procès doit toutefois avoir lieu, le parquet de Nancy ayant fait appel.

« Le refus de la DB d’accepter sa responsabilité est honteux, notamment quand vous lisez le dossier : la liste des manquements à la sécurité est longue », a déploré M. Amore.

L’incendie avait démarré dans la cabine du steward du wagon-lit de la DB, à cause de vêtements suspendus sur une plaque chauffante.

Le procès, en mars dernier, n’avait pu éclaircir ni les circonstances exactes de l’incendie ni celles de la mort des 12 voyageurs. Mais il avait mis en lumière des normes de sécurité peu contraignantes, non-rétroactives sur les wagons anciens et finalement qualifiées d’a minima par le parquet.

Link: http://www.estrepublicain.fr/actualite/2011/11/06/500-km-a-pied-en-l-honneur-de-ses-proches
500 km Walk in Honor of His Family

Nancy. An American, who lost five family members in the fire of the Paris-Munich train in 2002 in Nancy, began today, the anniversary of the tragedy, a walk of 500 km between Nancy and Munich to ask the German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) to acknowledge its responsibility.

The march "inclusive", which should last between 14 and 18 days, will begin at the exact spot of the accident which caused 12 deaths November 6, 2002, said Rollin Amore, who lost his mother, brother, his step-sister, niece and nephew in the fire.

It "seeks to honor the victims, to complete the journey to Munich they could not finish," he added.

On arrival at the station in Munich, the American walker wants to "call the DB to take responsibility for the victims and their sacrifices are never forgotten."

Mr. Amore has expressed its "disappointment" after the Deutsche Bahn and its French counterpart SNCF had been released last May by the Criminal Court of Nancy, after two weeks of trials designed to determine the responsibilities of drama.

The judges considered that the link between the sins of the railways and the fire was not direct enough. Only a steward of the DB, Janz Volker, was sentenced to one year imprisonment.

A second trial, however, must take place, the floor of which Nancy uses.

"The refusal to accept responsibility DB is a shame, especially when you read the file: list of security breaches is long," said Mr Amore.

The fire had started in the cab of the sleeping car steward of the DB, because of hanging clothes on a hot plate.

The trial, in March, could not clarify the exact circumstances of the fire nor of the death of 12 passengers. But he highlighted some stringent safety standards, not retroactive on older cars and eventually qualified as a minimum by the prosecution.

Link: http://www.estrepublicain.fr/actualite/2011/11/06/500-km-a-pied-en-l-honneur-de-ses-proches
English  Translation...
A Rememberance March

The train disaster in 2002 between Paris and Munich meant Rollin Amore lost five family members. He now comes here from America - as a message to the German Railways. 

NANCY. 500 km are between Nancy and Munich. Currently, the American, Rollin Amore, strides foot by foot. The 59-year-old financial advisor needs so little for his journey,-- he wears a only a backpack. He is on a journey that started nine years ago. It's the journey of his five family members that never returned home. 

On 6 November 2002 his mother, Susanne, brother Salvatore "Michael", sister Jeanne,12-year-old niece, Emily, and 8-year-old nephew Michael, died on the night train from Paris to Munich shortly after a fire broke out in Nancy. Overall, twelve lost their lives that night. It was a misfortune that could have been prevented. The train did not have call points. It also lacked fire extinguishers. On the ninth anniversary of the disaster Rollin Amore is now finishing the journey by foot. In the week ahead he will arrive in Munich, his goal point. "I want to symbolically finish the journey for all victims. It is important that their memory is held in honor, " He also has a message to the German railway. "You need to take responsibility for your actions.”  

On this day nine years ago, the father of four recalls the events well. He was in San Francisco and learned by phone what had happened. Nine years later his voice is clear and powerful when he talks about the events. It is hard to appreciate the magnitude of loss he suffered. “It’s my journey into the past” he says. His 72-year old mother, brother, sister-in-law and their two children had in 2002 spontaneously decided to take a trip to Europe. His mother, Susanne, had grown up in Germany. She was living in Stuttguart when she met her husband, a U.S. soldier who was stationed there during the second World War. They married and moved to the United States where they raised a family of three boys.

 In 2002, a year after her husband’s death, they intended to go back to Germany to show their grandchildren their heritage. Additionally, their son, Salvatore “Michael” wanted to show his children a special site: Paris. According to his brother, Rollin, it was here he proposed to his wife, Jeanne. “In the charred remains of the train was found a diary of my nephew. He described the events as “Mommy and Daddy just could not agree on which bench Daddy proposed on”.

After Paris, the five family members wanted to take the night train back to Germany where they would take a flight back to their home state of Connecticut. They went to sleep to wake up to a raging fire. For twelve people, including the Amore family, their compartment was a death trap because they were locked in from the outside. Later, the investigation revealed that the fire broke out because a German conductor put a travel bags and garments on top of a hot plate that was on. When he saw the fire, he left the people in his compartment and fled for his own life, disregarding the fact that they were locked in from the outside. He succeeded in saving his own life, but no one else’s. 

After years of legal proceedings it was ruled that the sleeper car belonged to the French railway company SFNC and the German railway was acquitted. The conductor of the DB-sleeper was merely suspended for one year for negligence and homicide. 

Rollin Amore does not understand the acquittal. That is why he is on his memorial march. “The German Railroad needs to apologize publicly and admit they have made a mistake. For me it is frustrating that such a large company is running away from their responsibility”

Vannessa Assmann 

From Munich Abendzeithung  www.az-muenchen November 16, 2011
From L'est Republicain       November 6, 2011

The Journey Is Over

Rollin Amore walked from Nancy to Munich to honor his five family members lost when a Deutsche Bahn train caught fire in 2002 due to worker and company negligence.

Munich. The man with the grey backpack stands out. Very slowly he passes through the arrival hall as if he wanted to deliberately experience every step. Rollin Amore has reached his goal shortly after 2pm on Tuesday. He has completed the journey of his five family members that never returned home. “It’s as if I had brought them home.” he says. Sixteen and a half days have passed since Amore left Nancy on foot. Nine years earlier, a night train from Paris to Munich had ended its journey where he began his. Twelve people died and nine were injured in the fire. Among the casualties were five members of the Amore family: Rollin’s mother Susanne, brother Salvatore “Michael”, sister-in-law Jeanne, twelve year old niece Emily, and eight year old nephew Michael. 

Amore, who lives in Washington DC, wants to give a voice to those lost – and remember them. Every day on his journey he walked between 15 and 40 kilometers, most of the time deep in thought. And alone. Only a few days did he have travelling companions. Yesterday, for the last ten kilometers, a survivor from the fire walked with him. He does not want to disclose his name. The terrible events for of the fire are still with him. He says “those are moments and images that don’t go away.” He has the utmost respect for Rollin, saying “Rollin is a fighter.” He has found a way to overcome the helplessness that all who have such misfortune feel. His cousin from Germany has walked with him for the last few days. In days past, strangers have walked with him briefly and listened to his story. 
Amore would like the German railway to take responsibility. It was in a DB car that the fire broke out. In the spring, a court acquitted the company. It was only the conductor the received punishment. When the fire broke out, he fled for his own life, knowing that he left innocent passengers in the car that only he could unlock. His gross negligence, irresponsibility, and lack of common sense only led to a brief suspension.
For Amore, he wonders how the whole safety system ended up being blamed on one person. He would like to see DB apologize for their actions. The regional head of DB has invited Rollin to a meeting upon his arrival in Munich. In a first statement signaling the train company is ready for talks, a railway spokesman said, “It is indisputable that there was a tragic accident. This makes us very concerned.” Amore is ready to handle the call; he wants a petition asking DB to take responsibility for their actions. 

V. Assmann

From: www.AZ-MUENCHEN.DE November 23, 2011