Paris, 14 August 2021
“Since the death of French Holocaust survivor and politician Simone Veil, several memorials in her memory around the country have been vandalised. The latest, in a small Brittany town, raises queries as the stone monument was, apparently, attacked three times in the past week. On each occasion, further swastikas and other antisemitica were added,” stated Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Centre's Director for International Relations.
“It is unbelievable that the authorities responded publicly only on the third occasion,” he added.
The Centre noted, “the choice of target, Simone Veil, was close to Simon Wiesenthal and our Centre... In 1989, Mme Veil presented us with the prestigious medal of the European Parliament, on the occasion of our presentation of chapters from Claude Lanzmann’s iconic film ‘Shoah’ in the Chamber.
“As an Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen survivor, she became President of the European Parliament and, later, President of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah in Paris. She held several political positions, especially focussing on the rights of women.
“The perpetrators, in selecting her monuments for vandalism, clearly knew the impact of their choice. The latest outrage should be easily resolved by their arrest in a small town...
“The Centre has often proposed that CCTV should be installed for cemeteries and monuments together with alarms. Antisemitic vandals are cowards and would run on detection.”
“We share the pain of the Veil family, and especially, her son, Pierre-François Veil, President of Yad Vashem France and a friend of our Centre,” concluded Samuels.
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“My cause was justice, not vengeance. My work is for a better tomorrow and a more secure future for our children and grandchildren.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)