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Fury at vandalism of French WWII hero General Charles de Gaulle

© Eric Feferberg, AFP file picture |French gendarmes and Army officers pictured in front of Charles de Gaulle’s tomb at the Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises cemetery in eastern France on November 9, 2011

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-05-28

Vandals on Saturday damaged the tomb of the leader of France’s resistance to Nazi occupation during World War Two and founder of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle.

French media say police are hunting for two people, one of whom was filmed Saturday by security cameras knocking a cross off the top of De Gaulle’s tomb.

France Info radio quoted local mayor Pascal Babouot as saying he did not think there was a political motive behind the act, but it drew swift condemnation from politicians.

Macron: "To be quickly repaired"

President Emmanuel Macron requested Sunday that the tomb be quickly repaired, adding that De Gaulle's memory is "dear to all French people."

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe tweeted his "sadness and consternation" and called
the vandalism "an act against France."

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen called it, "contemptible."

Towering figure

De Gaulle was a towering figure of 20th century French history, leading the nation’s resistance to Nazi occupation in World War Two, putting an end to its colonial war in Algeria in 1962 and serving as France’s president for a decade until 1969.

He founded France’s Fifth Republic, which granted the president sweeping powers, and set a distinctive foreign policy that rejected the concept of U.S. and Soviet world domination, giving the French an independent voice on the world stage.

De Gaulle died in 1970.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-05-27

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