Friday, 12 Aug 2022 - 15 of Av, 5782

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne: ‘We fight anti-Semitism wherever it is found’

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In her speech at a Paris ceremony at the site of the Vél d’hiv, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, whose father was a Holoicaust survivor, said: “Yes, those days in July, France lost some of its soul (…) Our country waited until 1995, less than 30 years ago, to recognize its responsibility.”

‘’We fight anti-Semitism wherever it is found”, declared French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Sunday as France commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Vél d’Hiv deportation of Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

On July 16, 1942 and the following days, at the request of Nazi occupation forces, more than 13,000 Jews – including 4,115 children – were arrested in their homes in Paris and the suburbs by 9,000 French officials, including about 5,000 police officers under the orders of René Bousquet, head of the Vichy police. They were taken to the Vélodrome d’Hiver and then to internment camps. Most of them were deported to the death camps.

To mark the anniversary of the Vél d’Hiv roundup, several commemorative events take place in France. French President Emmanuel Macron was expected to deliver Sunday afternoon an “offensive speech” against anti-Semitism, in the presence of Holocaust survivors, in the Pithiviers internment camp from where more than 8,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in eight train convoys.

He will also denounce the “historical revisionism”, especially on the role of Marshal Pétain during the Second World War.

In her speech at a Paris ceremony at the site of the Vél  d’hiv, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, whose father was a Holocaust survivor, said: “Yes, those days in July, France lost some of its soul (…) Our country waited until 1995, less than 30 years ago, to recognize its responsibility. It was an immense relief, one of those moments when words finally put a reality on the unspeakable. To keep its honor, our country must face its history.’’

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