PARIS — A respected Holocaust historian said that a recently uncovered 1940 document provides written proof of the personal involvement of Nazi-occupied France's wartime leader in persecuting Jews.
The document was given a few days ago to France's Holocaust Memorial museum by a donor who wants to remain anonymous, Serge Klarsfeld told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Klarsfeld, a trial lawyer and longtime Nazi hunter, said he is certain of the document's authenticity and calls it the latest sign of official anti-Semitism by the French — and not just by their German occupiers.
The document — dated Oct. 3, 1940 — is a draft of a statute on Jews under France's collaborationist Vichy regime. It includes what Klarsfeld says are handwritten notes by Vichy leader Philippe Petain describing how authorities should target Jews, notably by excluding them from public office and from working in schools.