Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Never again! France's Macron honours Holocaust victims

Published:Monday | May 1, 2017 | 5:00 AM
Independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron makes a sign to bystanders as he leaves the Holocaust memorial in Paris, France, yesterday.

Never again! Macron

honours Holocaust victims

PARIS (AP):

Amid worries about rising nationalism, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron paid homage Sunday to the tens of thousands of French Jews killed in the Holocaust with a sombre, simple message to voters: Never again.

Chants of "Macron, President!" mixed with tears of sorrowful remembrance as he visited the Holocaust Memorial in Paris, walking past panels bearing the names of those deported to death in Nazi camps, while Holocaust survivors and children of its

victims looked on.

It was the second time in three days that Macron visited a site tied to France's wartime history, as he seeks to remind voters of the shame of France's Nazi collaboration - and especially of the anti-Semitic past of his rival Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front party.

The two face a presidential runoff May 7 that will reverberate across Europe.

Le Pen herself, who has worked for years to detoxify her party's image, laid a wreath at a memorial to France's deported Jews in Marseille on Sunday, a national day of remembrance.

Yet the gesture cannot undo decades of anti-Semitism that still poisons her party. Her own father has been convicted of describing the gas chambers as a "detail" of history, and her temporary party leader was removed just last week for similar comments.

MORAL WEAKENING

After visiting the Holocaust Memorial and a wall honouring French people who protected Jews during the German occupation, Macron said, "We have a duty today to their memory."

The 39-year-old former economy minister lamented a "moral weakening that could tempt some people to say all things are relative, that could tempt others to negate the Holocaust a position some people find refuge in because what happened is unforgettable and unforgivable, and should never happen again."