Paris, 14 February 2023
Dear Madam Prime Minister,
Representing the Wiesenthal Centre last night at the CRIF dinner, I was greatly impressed to learn about your family’s history during the Holocaust.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Dr Samuels at the 13 February CRIF dinner.
Your father, Joseph Bornstein, was an example of the many Jews fighting in the Resistance. The arrest and deportation to Auschwitz of family members – and subsequent killing of your grandfather and uncle – is a harrowing experience common to many families in France and Europe, that often forges their determination against antisemitism and all forms of discrimination.
The Wiesenthal Centre is particularly interested in your four-year plan to educate youth. This plan would include a mandatory visit for all high-school students to a Holocaust Memorial site, as also focus on training teachers and civil servants to defeat racism and antisemitism. In addition, regular anti-discrimination testing in private and public places of employment will be implemented.
We also salute your intention to issue arrest warrants to those who incite antisemitism under the mask of “freedom of expression”. In a previous speech at the Paris-based Institute of the Arab World (IMA), you mentioned “no impunity for those who falsify history, who rewrite our past, forgetting or deforming the truth”...
According to the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, “the estimated number of victims who suffered at least one racist, antisemitic or xenophobic attack last year was 1.2 million.”
Madam Borne, the Wiesenthal Centre in Europe greatly encourages your plan of action and would be delighted to participate. Likewise, we would be honoured to invite you to visit our Museum of Tolerance (MOT) in Los Angeles.
The Museum of Tolerance challenges visitors to confront bigotry and racism and to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts. It has served over 7.5 million visitors. More than 3.5 million children and youth have participated in its programmes and about 250,000 professionals have been trained in its thematic workshops.
Dr Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre
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