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Roundup of the Vel d’Hiv: For Hollande, a “crime committed in France by France”

COMMEMORATION: He also praised the “courage” of Jacques Chirac, the first president to have said …

François Hollande acknowledged in turn Sunday that the arrest of thousands of Jews during the roundup of the Vel d’Hiv in July 1942, was a “crime committed in France by France” and praised the “courage” of Jacques Chirac , the first president to have said.

“This crime was committed in France by France,” commented the Head of State in his speech at the scene of the Winter Velodrome, in the fifteenth arrondissement of Paris.

As a crime against France

70 years ago, 13,152 men, women and Jewish children in Paris and its suburbs were arrested on 16 and 17 July 1942, most of them penned in the Winter Velodrome (the Vel d’hiv, demolished in 1959 ) before being sent to the camps of Nazi death.

“Recognition of this fault has been stated for the first time, with clarity and courage by President Jacques Chirac, July 16, 1995,” said François Hollande in the booklet published by the Elysee and distributed on the occasion of the commemoration ceremony of the raid.

This crime “was also a crime against France, a betrayal of its values. These same values ​​as the Resistance Free France, the Righteous knew incarnate in honor, “according to the head of state.

Arrived shortly before 10:00 at the scene of the Vel d’Hiv, President Hollande has laid a wreath and bowed before a memorial plaque in the presence of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and numerous ministers.

Great merit of Jacques Chirac

In his speech, he reaffirmed the full responsibility of France, emphasizing that “the truth is hard, cruel.” “Not one German soldier was not mobilized” for these arrests by the French police and gendarmes, he recalled.

“It is the great merit of Jacques Chirac” to have recognized it first, he repeated.

Referring to “the uniqueness of the Shoah”, Hollande assured that there would be “not a school which can not be taught” the Holocaust. There will be “no lost memory” must “fight tirelessly against all forms of tampering,” he added.

Anti-Semitism is not an opinion

The head of state also warned that the Republic would hunt “with the utmost determination” anti-Semitism, which is “not an opinion but an abject”.

Anti-Semitism, “wherever it is deployed, must be unmasked and punished. All ideologies of exclusion, all forms of intolerance, all fanaticism, xenophobia, which are trying to develop the logic of hatred, will find the Republic on their way, “he insisted.

Present at the ceremony, Richard Prasquier, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), welcomed on BFM-TV that M. Hollande has registered in his speech, in the tradition of Jacques Chirac and found “very important” statements against anti-Semitism.

The example Merah

Speaking before the head of state, Serge Klarsfeld, president of the Association of the Sons and Daughters of Jews Deported from France, stressed that “if 11,000 Jewish children were deported” in France during the Second World War, “60,000 were saved by the French population, which, overall, deserve to be called just. ”

But “anti-Jewish hatred kills again Jews, Jewish children,” said Klarsfled, referring to the killing of three Jewish children and a rabbi in March in Toulouse by Mohamed Merah, also three military assassin.

“Today the Republic is not threatened, we have confidence to contain and control this new anti-Semitism today casts a shadow over our tribute to the victims of the roundup of the Vel d’Hiv” Has -he assures, “The Jewish community has confidence and trust in the Republic”

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