Macron decries antisemitism on 80th anniversary of Jewish deportations

Macron spoke at the inauguration of a memorial in the central town of Pithiviers, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Paris.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with French President Emanuel Macron in Paris, July 5, 2022. (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with French President Emanuel Macron in Paris, July 5, 2022.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

French President Emmanuel Macron warned against antisemitism and historical revisionism on Sunday as he commemorated victims of the Holocaust on the 80th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv roundup of Jewish families.

On July 16-17, 1942, around 13,000 people were taken to the Winter Velodrome, the Vel d'Hiv, in Paris before being sent on to concentration camps across Europe. It was the largest mass detention of Jewish people by French police in collaboration with the Nazi German occupiers.

Macron spoke at the inauguration of a memorial in the central town of Pithiviers, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Paris. Pithiviers was the second largest transit camp and deportation point in France for Jews, after Drancy.

"We have not finished with antisemitism, it is still there - stronger and more rampant," said Macron, citing examples of antisemitism in acts of terrorism, in graffiti on walls, on social media and as something that crops up in debates on some TV channels.

Antisemitism in France

Earlier, Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne said that "France lost part of its soul" in the Vel d'Hiv roundup, which "went even further than the Nazi occupiers demanded" and of which "no state official was unaware".

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid as he arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid as he arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 5, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

In his speech, Macron warned against a "new type of revisionism" and reiterated the active role of France in targeting Jewish people during the occupation.

"We have not finished with antisemitism, it is still there - stronger and more rampant."

Emmanuel Macron

The Shoah Memorial in Paris, which collects archives on France's Holocaust victims, has launched an appeal to reach the last witnesses and survivors of the Vel d'Hiv round-up.

"We need to recognize everything, in order not to reproduce it," Macron said.