Thursday, 8 Dec 2022 - 14 of Kislev, 5783

New French Prime Minister : daughter of Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter

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The new French Prime Minister is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter.

61-year-old Elisabteh Borne succeeds Jean Castex and becomes the only second female Prime Minister in France’s Republic. She was appointed following President Emmanuel Macron’s election for a second term.

She was born in Paris to Joseph Bornstein and Marguerite Lecèsne.

Her father is a Jew of Polish origin, born to a family that fled Antwerp, Belgium, to France in 1939 as refugees escaping from the Nazis. In France, he was a member of the Resistance and was therefore deported in 1942 to Auschwitz-Birkenau with his father, his older brother Leon and his younger brother Albert, who were all executed on arrival at the Nazi concentration camp.

Joseph survived the Holocaust and found his way back to France along with his older brother, Isaac, where they both settled once again. He was naturalized as a French citizen in 1950.

Borne’s father passed away when she was just 11 years old and she became “a pupil of the Nation,” receiving educational benefits granted by the state to minors who had a parent injured or killed during a war, a terrorist attack or while rendering certain public services. This allowed her to obtain a full scholarship for her studies.

She had spoken about being the daughter of a single mother, saying in an interview that “It has not always been easy. I lost my father when I was very young and so we ended up with my mother, who had two daughters and who did not really have an income.”

In the former government, she was Labor Minister.  Before joining Macron’s government and his centrist party La République En Marche, Borne was a member of the Socialist Party and worked with several Socialist ministers.

During her career, she also worked as Director of Strategy for the French railway company SNCF and Director General of town planning in the Paris City Council.


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