Emmanuel Macron at the Holocaust Museum
Emmanuel Macron at the Holocaust Museum
Photo: AP
Emmanuel Macron at the Holocaust Museum

Macron to mark 80th anniversary of WWII round-up of Jews in France

French president's speech at the Pithiviers station, with Holocaust survivors in attendance, will acknowledge that ‘French society is not finished with antisemitism’

AFP |
Published: 07.17.22, 13:02
French President Emmanuel Macron will on Sunday mark the 80th anniversary of the wartime round-up of Jews in France at a former railway station used to deport them to Auschwitz.
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  • With him at Pithiviers station, 60 miles south of Paris, will be some of the handful of the survivors of those deported on the eight convoys sent to the Nazi camp. Macron's speech will express his concern over the enduring threat of antisemitism, which "still lurks and sometimes in an insidious way," said an official from his office.
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    Emmanuel Macron at the Holocaust Museum
    Emmanuel Macron at the Holocaust Museum
    Emmanuel Macron at the Holocaust Museum
    (Photo: AP)
    He will denounce "historical revisionism" - in particular over the role of France's war-time leader Philippe Petain, who collaborated with the Nazi regime, the official added.
    Also at ceremony will be historian and renowned Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, as well as a survivor of the camps, Ginette Kolinka.
    The head of France's rail network, Jean-Pierre Farandou, will also attend. Macron is expected at the former station of Pithiviers at around 3pm.
    3 View gallery
    Petain1
    Petain1
    Philippe Petain
    (Photo: AP)
    The building, which has not served passengers since the end of the 1960, has been converted into a memorial to the Holocaust which opened earlier this month.
    "This station is the place where the French event becomes European genocide," said Jacques Fredj, the director of the Shoah Memorial, which commemorates the French deportations.
    "It is a place of memory unique in France," he said, adding that the new 400-meter-squared center is mainly intended for scholars.
    3 View gallery
    Emmanuel Macron at Oradour-sur-Glane
    Emmanuel Macron at Oradour-sur-Glane
    Emmanuel Macron at Oradour-sur-Glane
    (Photo: EPA)
    "It's a priority, in the face of the rise in antisemitism, racism and conspiracy theories."
    Some of the 13,000 Jews arrested in Paris and its suburbs by French officials on the orders of the Nazi occupiers passed through the station. 4,115 were children.
    The incident has become known as the Vel d'Hiv round-ups because the French police took 8,160 of the Jews, including the old and sick, to the Velodrome d'Hiver, a cycle racing track in Paris. From there, they were taken to camps at Pithiviers and other locations and onto the Nazi concentration camps. Only a few dozen ever returned.
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