French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron visited the Holocaust Memorial in Paris on Sunday, one week before he faces off against far right leader Marine Le Pen in the country’s presidential election.
Amid worries about rising nationalism, and on the day France remembers thousands of Jews who were deported to Nazi death camps, Macron warned the country must “never again” repeat the horrors of the Holocaust.
“France has never really fully come to terms with what happened in World War Two,” FRANCE 24’s Chris Moore said from the Memorial. “And the past has once again found its way into this campaign.”
Earlier this month Le Pen declared France was not responsible to the round-up of Jews in Paris during the war. Later, the man she picked to temporarily replace her at the head of her far right National Front was forced to step aside over allegations he has denied certain aspect of the Holocaust – claims he denied.
On Sunday, Macron criticized those who continued to “find refuge” in questioning the French government’s collaboration with the Nazis during the war. As part of his visit, he consulted documentation showing the collusion by French authorities with the occupying German forces.
Excitement at his appearance mixed with tears of sorrowful remembrance for visitors as Macron walked past panels bearing the names of tens of thousands of French Jews deported to their death. Holocaust survivors and children of its victims were among those present.
It's the second time in three days that Macron is visiting a site tied to France's wartime history. He is seeking to remind voters of the anti-Semitic past of Le Pen's party.
Date created : 2017-04-30