France’s far-right presidential contender Marine Le Pen has prompted a major outcry by denying that the French government was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II.
Ms Le Pen said on Sunday on RTL radio “I don’t think France is responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” — a reference to the stadium where thousands of Jews were rounded up before being sent to Nazi death camps.
Some 13,000 Jews were deported by French police on July 16-17, 1942, many of whom were first holed up in harsh conditions at Paris’ Vel d’Hiv — its Winter Velodrome stadium.
Israel’s foreign ministry condemned Ms Le Pen’s remarks. The ministry in a statement said her comments are “contrary to historical truth, as expressed in the statements of successive French presidents who recognised France’s responsibility for the fate of the French Jews who perished in the Holocaust.”