French far-left head denies France’s Holocaust responsibility

French left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon blasted President Emmanuel Macron’s admission of French culpability in the Holocaust and questioned links between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

French extreme-left head Jean-Luc Melenchon harshly criticized President Emmanuel Macron for accepting French responsibility for the nation’s Jewish Holocaust victims during WWII. Macron admitted that it was the French Vichy regime and not Nazi-Germany that deported French Jewish citizens to the death camps.

Melenchon’s remarks were strikingly similar to those made earlier by French far-right leader Marine Le Pen during the French presidential campaign in April.

“Never, at any moment, did the French choose murder and anti-Semitic criminality,” claimed Melenchon. Ignoring the French Vichy regime, Melenchon argued that the previous French government was in exile in London. He also chose to focus on French anti-Nazi resistance during the German occupation of France.

“Those who were not Jewish were not all, and as French people, guilty of the crime that was carried out at the time! On the contrary, through its resistance, its fight against the [German] invader and through the reestablishment of the republic when the [Germans] were driven out of the territory, the French people proved which side they were actually on,” said Melenchon.

During a commemoration ceremony in Paris for murdered French Jews, in the presence of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Macron said that France has a responsibility to confront the dark chapters of its past.

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“We have a responsibility to realize where and when we have failed.” The French President criticized attempts to whitewash France’s complicity in sending Jewish citizens to their death during WWII.

“It’s true that Vichy wasn’t all of France, but Vichy was the government of France and the French establishment was responsible for deporting French Jews, and not the Germans,” the French President said.

In July 1942, French police deported 13,000 Jewish citizens including children to the Nazi death camps in Poland. Approximately 25 percent of France’s Jewish pre-war population, perished during the Holocaust.

The French far-left leader also criticized President Macron for equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Melenchon questioned the link while admitting that it has been articulated before, commenting, “[T]his is the first time that this argument has been made official by the president of our republic.”

By: Daniel Krygier, World Israel News