Le Pen says France not responsible for WWII roundup of Jews

Le Pen says France not responsible for WWII roundup of Jews

PARIS — Far-right French presidential contender Marine Le Pen made “a serious mistake” by denying that the French State was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II, her main rival said Monday.

Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist, was among many presidential candidates criticizing Le Pen’s comments Monday.

“Some had forgotten that Marine Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen,” Macron, the front-runner in the April 23-May 7 two-round election, told BFM TV.

Le Pen’s father repeatedly has been convicted for anti-Semitism and racism.

Le Pen said Sunday on RTL radio “I don’t think France is responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” in reference to the stadium where many thousands of Jews were rounded up in July 1942 before being sent to Nazi death camps.

Le Pen later said in a written statement she “considers that France and the Republic were in London” during wartime and “the Vichy regime wasn’t France.”

She argued that that had been the position of France’s heads of state, including Charles De Gaulle, until former president Jacques Chirac “wrongly” acknowledged the state’s role in Jewish persecution in 1995.

“It does not discharge the effective and personal responsibility of the French who took part into the monstrous roundup of the Vel d’Hiv,” she wrote.

Some 13,000 Jews were deported by French police on July 16 and 17, 1942, many of whom were first holed up in harsh conditions at Paris’ Vel d’Hiv, or the Winter Velodrome stadium.

In all, about 75,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Only 2,500 survived.

After decades of denial, Chirac in 1995 became the first president to publicly acknowledge France’s role in the deportations, issuing a long-awaited public apology at the start of his first term in office.

The Associated Press

Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Perfect storm’ causes influx of black widows in the Okanagan

The region’s only venomous spider has come out in full force this year

AlleyCats Okanagan: Pet of the week

Mort is available through AlleyCats Alliance

Okanagan College expands ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ to all students this fall

Wellness Wednesday workshops are designed to be psycho-educational

Kelowna haunted house to transition to parade-style format amid COVID-19

The Grenfell Road Haunted Parade will take place on Oct. 30 and 31 in Kelowna

Reported Kelowna Hells Angels member dies in Fraser Valley motorcycle crash

Michael “Speedy” Christiansen was found dead on Monday morning near Ruby Creek on Highway 7

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Suspected human remains found in burned out vehicle on OKIB land

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP hand over investigation to Major Crimes

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kamloops RCMP search for armed robber of pizza restaurant

The incident unfolded on Monday evening at the Sahali Domino’s store

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Trial underway for Kamloops man charged with kidnapping

Michael Mathieson is charged with armed robbery, unlawful confinement and kidnapping

Kootnekoff: Employment standards variances in Alberta

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Most Read