Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah, known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, and for the Jewish resistance in that period. (Wikipedia)
Here in France we commemorate the lives of the 80,000 Jews who were murdered, and remember the complicity of the fellow French citizens who were so keen to collaborate with the German occupation. A brief account of the horror:
Au total, près de 76.000 Juifs ont été déportés. De plus, au moins 3.000 sont morts en France dans les camps d’internement et en particulier dans ceux de la zone libre avant les déportations (dont 1.000 à Gurs). Le nombre de Juifs exécutés ou abattus sommairement parce qu’ils étaient Juifs atteint au minimum un millier. Le total général des victimes de la « Solution finale » en France avoisine donc les 80.000. Les trois quarts des 330.000 Juifs dont 19.000 Français et 140.000 étrangers vivant en France en 1940 ont pu survivre à la guerre et aux déportations. Sur les 73.853 déportés des 74 grands convois, seuls 2.600 ont survécu. Plus de 11.000 enfants ont été déportés et ne sont pas revenus ; environ 2.000 étaient âgés de moins de 6 ans. Ainsi 25% des Juifs de France ont été victimes de la « Solution finale ».
In total, nearly 76,000 Jews were deported. In addition, at least 3,000 died in France in internment camps and, in particular, those in the free zone before deportations (including 1,000 in Gurs). The number of Jews executed or summarily slaughtered because they were Jews counts at least a thousand. The overall total of victims of the “Final Solution” in France is therefore close to 80,000. Three quarters of the 330,000 Jews, including 19,000 French and 140,000 foreigners living in France in 1940, survived the war and the deportations. Of the 73,853 deportees in 74 large convoys, only 2,600 survived. More than 11,000 children were deported and did not return; about 2,000 were under 6 years old. Thus 25% of Jews in France were victims of the “Final Solution”.
How do the French feel towards Jews today? Recent polling suggests that while most of the population refuses to engage in anti-Semitism, a significant minority continues to hold anti-Semitic views:
One-quarter of French people think that Jews have too much power in the economy and in finance; 22 percent say that Jews have too much power in the media; 35 percent are of the opinion that Jews use their status as victims of the Holocaust in their own interest; and 16 percent think there is a global Zionist conspiracy. Even worse, 14 percent of French people consider the attacks against the Jewish community that took place during the summer —including the targeting of synagogues and Jewish-owned shops, and the shouting of vile anti-Semitic slogans during anti-Israel demonstrations — understandable.
I hope that now when the French President today stands tall and says ‘Never Again‘ he is actually speaking for the majority of a country that refused to protect and, in some cases, enthusiastically denounced its Jewish citizens during the darkest days of World War II.