Sunday, July 30, 2017

France: Far-left Leader Slams Macron for Accepting French Complicity in Holocaust

Via Haaretz (h/t glykosymoritis):
Jean-Luc Melenchon, France's populist left-wing leader, blasted French President Emmanuel Macron for his admission that the Vichy government was indeed the French government during World War II, and that it – and not the Nazis – were responsible for deporting French Jews.

 In an angry 2,000-word blog, Melenchon took the newly-elected president to task for a range of policy missteps, but saved the bulk of his wrath for the remarks Macron made in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 Denying or hiding France's role in World War II is a disgrace, Macron had said on Sunday in the presence of visiting Netanyahu at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from Paris. "We have a responsibility to realize where and when we have failed," Macron said. "There are those who say Vichy wasn't France," he noted. "It's true that Vichy wasn't all of France, but Vichy was the government of France and the French establishment It was responsible for deporting French Jews, and not the Germans."

 In his blog, Melenchon didn't deny the involvement of French citizens in rounding up Jews for deportation, but in an echo of remarks during this year's election campaign by the leader of the far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, Melenchon declared it "totally unacceptable" to say that "France, as a people, as a nation, is responsible for this crime." In April, during the French presidential campaign, Le Pen sparked controversy for saying: "I don't think France is responsible for the Vel d'Hiv,"– a reference to the Velodrome d'Hiver stadium where thousands of Jews were rounded up before being sent to Nazi death camps.
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