“I want to believe that their martyrdom will have lastingly awakened our share of humanity,” said Jean Castex who visited the Izieu Memorial Museum.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex called on Friday to “fight everywhere and always against the unfulfilled temptations of barbarism”, during a ceremony at the Izieu Memorial Museum in the Ain region.
Castex visited the final refuge of 44 Jewish children and their six teachers, rounded up on April 6, 1944, on the orders of the Gestapo, commanded by Klaus Barbie. They were all deported and murdered in Nazi extermination camps.
“I want to believe that their martyrdom will have permanently awakened our share of humanity,” he said on this national day of remembrance of the victims of racist and anti-Semitic crimes of the French state, and of tribute to the Righteous of France.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the local population, recalling the help given to refugee children and emphasizing the benevolent role played by the deputy prefect at the time, Pierre-Marcel Wiltzer.
Jean Castex lingered in several rooms of the memorial, in front of the drawings left by the children, in the class taught by the teacher Gabrielle Perrier.
Led by Dominique Vidaud, director of the museum-memorial, the Prime Minister followed the path of the children who were hunted down throughout Europe.
“Fortunately, the history of the House of Izieu does not end with that tragic day of April 6, 1944. Beyond the tragedy, beyond the unspeakable, the House of Izieu has continued to play its role and the former refuge has become one of the first places of memory of the Shoah in France,” he noted.