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Sat May 6, 2017, 09:27 AM

The dark history at the heart of the French election 

More on Macron and LePen:

By James McAuley, WaPo, May 6 at 6:00 AM

PARIS — The French call it “the past that will not pass.” . . . When voters go to the polls Sunday, they will choose between warring interpretations of France’s past as much as between different visions for its future.


For Le Pen — the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, a convicted Holocaust denier who repeatedly has dismissed the Nazi gas chambers as a “detail of history” — the past is nothing to be ashamed of. Last month, she remarked on national television that France bore no responsibility for an infamous Paris roundup during the Holocaust, when French authorities arrested some 13,000 Jews, soon deported to their deaths.

Approximately 76,000 Jews were deported from France to the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Most never returned.

“If there were those responsible,” Le Pen said, “it was those who were in power at the time. This is not France.”


In one of Macron’s most controversial decisions on the campaign trial, he went in February to Algeria, which France had annexed for 132 years, and called on the French state to apologize formally for its crimes as a colonial power, especially in the bloody war for Algerian independence between 1954 and 1962. France’s history in that war, Macron said in an interview days later, represented “crimes and acts of barbarism” that today deserve to be labeled “crimes against humanity.”

For months, Le Pen has harped on Macron for those three words, accusing him once again in a televised debate Wednesday of “insulting” the French people.

In a high-profile case, her father, in the 2002 presidential campaign, was accused of torture during the Algerian War — charges that the elder Le Pen vehemently disputes.


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Reply The dark history at the heart of the French election  (Original post)
ucrdem May 2017 OP
katmondoo May 2017 #1
ucrdem May 2017 #2

Response to ucrdem (Original post)

Sat May 6, 2017, 09:34 AM

1. I have always been ashamed at how the French helped the Germans round up the French Jews

for deportation and death. I am half French on my fathers side.

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Response to katmondoo (Reply #1)

Sat May 6, 2017, 09:39 AM

2. Yes it's a disturbing chapter of French history that isn't well known.

But there's been a lot of interest in it lately so it's good that Macron isn't afraid to face it. I think Hollande also made some gestures in that direction.

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