France pays tribute to Simone Veil with Pantheon burial

Simone Veil was best known for legalizing abortion. French President Emmanuel Macron says Veil is a compass for France in troubled times.

By REUTERS
July 1, 2018 15:38
1 minute read.
The flag-draped coffin of late Auschwitz survivor and French health minister Simone Veil

The flag-draped coffins of late Auschwitz survivor and French health minister Simone Veil and her late husband Antoine Veil are carried by members of the French Gardes Republicains during a national tribute before being laid to rest in the crypt of the Pantheon mausoleum, in Paris, France, July 1, 2. (photo credit: REUTERS/LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

PARIS- France paid homage on Sunday to Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor best known for legalizing abortion in the 1970s as she joined the country's great citizens interred in the Pantheon in Paris.

Veil, who died aged 89 on June 30th a year ago, was laid to rest with her husband in the crypt of the Pantheon mausoleum alongside other national icons including authors Emile Zola and Victor Hugo and the philosopher Voltaire.

Hundreds of people lined sun-drenched streets in central Paris to watch the cortege carrying the caskets of Simone and her husband Antoine pass by. Among them were her two sons, both prominent criminal affairs lawyers.

"France loves Simone Veil and loves her for her struggles," President Emmanuel Macron said in a speech at the Pantheon.

"We wanted Simone Veil to enter the Pantheon without waiting for generations to pass so that her battles, her dignity and her hope remain a compass in these troubled times."

A Jewish survivor of a Nazi death camp at Ravensbruck with the prisoner number 78651 tattooed on her arm, she was also a fervent European and civil libertarian, becoming the first directly elected president of the European parliament in 1979.


Although out of the national limelight since 2007 when she left her seat at France's top constitutional court, she commanded wide respect across the political spectrum and remained among the most popular politicians in opinion polls.

Her concentration camp experience had made her a passionate advocate of European union but she was best known in France for legalizing abortion when she was health minister in 1974.

Virtually unknown when she joined the cabinet, she fought doggedly against a hostile parliament and divided public opinion to push through a bill that became known as "the Veil Law," making France the first mainly Roman Catholic country to legalize abortion.

After her death her body was interred at Montparnasse Cemetery, and exhumed for re-burial at the Pantheon.

Related Content

Holocaust survivor Judah Samet addresses Jerusalem Post Conference
June 16, 2019
Judah Samet: A double hero, a double survivor

By ILANIT CHERNICK

Cookie Settings