France has no responsibility for the round up by French gendarmes of Parisian Jews in 1942 who were subsequently sent to the Nazi death camps, far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said in an interview in Sunday.
13,152 Parisian Jews were rounded up in July 1942 and taken to the Vel d’Hiv cycling track near the Eiffel Tower where they held for days in intolerable conditions before being sent to the death camps.
Le Pen told the TV interview programme, “The Grand Jury” that “if there were those responsible, then it was those who were in power at the time. It is not France (which holds responsibility).”
France was falsely led for many years because, in reality, we taught our children that there were all the reasons to criticise (France) and only to see the darkest aspects of (our) history,” she added.
Her remarks were widely criticised by politicians across the spectrum including centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and centre-right politician Christian Estrosi who described them as similar to those made in the past by Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Yonatan Arfi, Vice President of the CRIF umbrella organisation of French Jews, the country’s EJC affiliate, said Le Pen’s comments “unveil the real image of the Front National”.
"This is obviously the traditional position of the FN, a way of placing the FN in this campaign in its traditional Vichyist and collaborationist tradition,” Arfi added.Thursday, April 13, 2017