Interview with Sarah Federman

Sarah Federman, Ph.D., (2016) is writing a book, based on her dissertation, which addresses the legacy of France’s collaboration with the Nazis during World War II. Her book examines how the French national railroads (SNCF) transported deportees towards death camps and the subsequent decades of legal wrangling over French complicity. The conflict continues today in the United States, where the company’s subsidiary Keolis bids for contracts. Her research considers this question of corporate accountability for historical crimes by drawing on over 120 interviews with senior leaders and survivors, archival work and site visits in both countries. She worked pro bono for the House of Representatives and the U.S. State Department on this conflict. Sarah lived and worked in Paris for three years prior to beginning this research, providing her with both the language and cultural exposure necessary to navigate the French culture. Her decade-long career as a senior global advertising executive working with the world’s largest advertising agencies and media sales houses around the world (Europe, U.S., Middle East, Africa and Asia) enabled her to bring her corporate savvy to this contentious historicallybased conflict. The book invites readers not only into the moral complexities of operating in Vichy, France, but also into the complexity of post-conflict work, especially when involving corporate entities. Sarah studied Intellectual History at the University of Pennsylvania and International Affairs at the American University of Paris.