Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

France

French MP slammed for WWII gay deportation claims

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-02-15

French politicians from across the divide have slammed Christian Vanneste, a member of parliament from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party, over comments he made denying France deported gays during the occupation

French politicians from both sides of the spectrum condemned MP Christian Vanneste on Wednesday, following comments he made denying France had deported gays during World War II. 

A member of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party, Vanneste represents France’s northern regions in parliament. In a video interview posted on the French website LibertéPolitique.com, Vanneste harkened back to World War II while answering a question on family and homosexuality in France.
 
“There is the famous legend of homosexuals being deported during the Second World War”, Vanneste said. “Let’s be clear about that. Obviously, Himmler had a personal score to settle with homosexuals. In Germany, homosexuals were persecuted and deported…There were no [deportations] elsewhere. Other than the three annexed regions, homosexuals were not deported from France”.
 
Vanneste made a number of other homophobic comments during the interview, even going so far as to label many gays “narcissists”.
 
Political backlash

A spokesperson for socialist presidential candidate François Hollande issued a scathing statement deeming Vanneste’s diatribe as “not only homophobic, but also as denying the Holocaust”. Holocaust denial can be a very serious criminal charge in France, punishable by prison time.
 
Even the MP’s own party scrambled to distance themselves from his comments.
 
“He should be immediately kicked out of the UMP”, tweeted France’s junior minister of housing and UMP member, Benoist Apparu.
 
Fellow parliamentarian and the party’s only openly gay member Franck Riester also slammed Vanneste’s discourse, labeling it as “undignified”, and calling for “strong sanctions” against him.
 
In response to widespread outrage, the UMP has said it will likely bar Vanneste from the party and remove him as a candidate in the country’s upcoming legislative elections in June.
 
Despite the whirlwind of criticism, Vanneste has stuck by his remarks.
 
“I have nothing to take back, I have said nothing reproachable. I think the whole thing is stupid”, Vanneste told French daily Le Monde. “If I am wrong [about the facts], then I will make amends, no problem”.
 
Renowned French lawyer and Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld has supported Vanneste’s claims, saying “I have never seen a document declaring the deportation of homosexuals in France”, adding that while gays were surely deported, it was not specifically because of their sexual orientation.
 
It is the second time in little more than a week that France’s shameful past under the occupation has been resurrected on the political scene. On February 7, Serge Letchimy, a Member of Parliament for French Caribbean territory Martinique, accused Interior Minister Claude Guéant of flirting with Nazi ideology after he declared that “not all civilisation are equal”.

 

Date created : 2012-02-15

  • FRANCE

    Government seeks to turn page after ‘Nazi’ jibe

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French minister slammed for ‘unequal civilisations’ comment

    Read more

COMMENT(S)