Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far right Front National (FN) has come out with a couple of idiotic statements in recent days. This is not surprising, as she, the leader of the FN, is authoritarian, nationalist, protectionist and anti-European Union1. In this, she is like Nigel Farage, but looks less like a treefrog.
In her first faux pas, she stated that France was not to blame for handing French Jews to the Nazis during the Second World War. This is a patent lie, as on the night of the 16th of July 1942, French police rounded up about 13,150 Jews from across Paris and took them all to the Velodrome d’Hiver (Vel d’Hiv), a famous indoor stadium which once hosted the 1924 Summer Olympics. From there, the majority of these Jews were deported to Auschwitz, never to return2,3. It should be remembered that it was not the German occupiers (Paris was not part of the Vichy ‘Free Zone’), but the French who rounded up these Parisian Jews. French President Jacques Chirac apologised in 1995 for the complicity of the French police and civil servants3. He said, when speaking at the site of the stadium: “France, the homeland of the Enlightenment and the rights of man, a land of welcome and asylum – France, on that day, accomplished the irreparable. She surrendered her charges to the executioners”2.
In the unoccupied (or ‘free’) zone, known as Vichy France, as its capital was at Vichy, some 315 kilometres south of Paris, foreign Jews, who had fled the depredations of the Nazis in other occupied parts of Europe were arrested and deported to the occupied zone. From there, they were sent to extermination camps in Germany and Poland. It was only some months later (November, 1942) that Vichy France was occupied by the Axis forces (German and Italian)4.
Like most ultranationalists, or even conservatives, she cannot believe that her nation could be guilty of anything. It is akin to a national narcissism and is common to conservatives in many countries. Conservatives have a difficult time coping with the fact that many native populations were either partly exterminated or driven off their land by occupiers in Australia, Canada, USA, South Africa, and numerous countries in South America. In many cases conservatives simply refuse to accept these facts.
Le Pen’s explanation for this denial of blame was that the French government was in exile in London at the time5, but this is just a convenience she uses to support her lie. France is justifiably proud of the Maquis, the French Resistance fighters who harried the Germans throughout the occupation. If Le Pen does not accept France is to blame for the deportation of Jews to the concentration camps, she cannot accept that France should be proud of its Resistance.
Le Pen would like people to think she has rid the FN of anti-Semitism. However, halfwits from FN keep opening their mouths to insert their jackbooted feet. One FN official stated that there weren’t 6 million Jews killed during the war “There weren’t mass murders as it’s been reported”. This idiot was expelled from the party. Despite this, in her campaign against Emanuel Macron, who seems to be the front-runner in the presidential election, she is often accused of using the dog-whistle against him, because he was an investment banker at Rothschild2. She complains not so much about what he did, but where he worked – the Rothschild family is, or was, Jewish.
Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen was, and still is, an anti-Semite. He infamously referred to the Nazi gas chambers as a ‘detail of history’2. He too was expelled from the party for repeating this comment in 2015. However, given Marine Le Pen’s comments about the Vel d’Hiv roundup, is makes you wonder if the fruit has fallen far from the tree.