Macron’s message on the Holocaust to France was simple: Never again!
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 somber, simple message to voters: Never again.
Chants of “Macron, President!” were 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.
After visiting the Holocaust Memorial and a wall honoring 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 unforgiveable, and should never happen again.”
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 may not be able to undo decades of anti-Semitism that still poisons her party. Her own father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, 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.
In 2015, she expelled her father from the party due to remarks considered xenophobic and anti-Semitic.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff