The leading French presidential candidate has provoked outrage after her statement that France was not responsible for the German-ordered 1942 Jewish roundup by French police.
Marine Le Pen said “.. in general, if there are people responsible for Vel d’Hiv, it is those who were in power at the time. It is not France.”
The daughter of the former National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and the current president of the party wants a new start for France and sees no reason for her children paying the price for past mistakes, by people long dead and gone, under different circumstances, tragic or heroic, right or wrong.
Some people believe that she and her children should pay the price, as has been the norm since the end of the second world war, and put priority of Jewish memory – however tragic and unjust – over living French citizens.
Those people are responsible for Marine Le Pen’s rise to power, and the more they blow their trumpet, the more people with no time for history lessons will raise their heads to listen. And since they are mainly French and not Jewish, they would naturally be drawn to Le Pen who says that she speaks for France.
Her statement has invoked outrage by those who differ and want to control the narrative on the subject.
Russia Today reports:
Vel d’Hiv is Velodrome d’Hiver [Winter Cycling stadium] – the infamous location where 13,000 Jewish people were held before being deported to Auschwitz in 1942. Before that, the French police detained them, obeying the German officials’ orders.
“We have taught our children that they had every reason to criticize France, to see only the darkest historical aspects maybe. I want them to be proud of being French once more,” she said in the interview with several French media outlets: Le Figaro, RTL, and LCI.
Le Pen’s statement drew fire from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which lamented that anti-Semitism “is raising its head again today.”
Tel Aviv says the comment “contradicts the historical truth as expressed in repeated statements by French presidents who recognized the country’s responsibility for the fate of the French Jews who perished in the Holocaust.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry also drew attention to the fact that the French government’s acknowledgement of the 1942 events is confirmed by “annual events dedicated to the anniversary of Jewish deportation from France, as well as studies of the Holocaust in the French educational system.”
The Israeli authorities were not the only ones to slam Le Pen’s words – one of her rivals, Emmanuel Macron, pointed out the far-right leaning attitudes the Le Pen family has always expressed.
“Some people had forgotten that Marine Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen. They haven’t changed and we shouldn’t indulge or minimize what the National Front is nowadays in our country,” Macron told BFM TV, as cited by Reuters.
Twitter users also expressed their indignation with Le Pen.
— Femmetastic_❤ (@urm_ma) April 10, 2017
— Andy Goldman (@agoldmanlinked) April 10, 2017
#LePen‘s falsification of history is outrageous. Though Germany was def the main perpetrator of the holocaust, parts of France participated.
— Corinna Leppin (@CSLeppin) April 10, 2017
— RM Snow (@symphonydog) April 10, 2017
According to the latest polls, Le Pen is in the lead in the presidential race, with the latest polls showing about 24 percent supporting her, with Macron closely following with 23 percent, and Fillon getting 19 percent.
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