No, it's not my business but even so I was intrigued by an article by Michael Curtis in The American Thinker on the somewhat arcane subject of the wartime treatment of their Jews by the French authorities. Even as I raise the subject I am uneasily aware that our own history has more than its fair share of blemishes, some of them painted blood red! However, what is interesting about this particular French blot on its historical legacy is the re-action of its recent and current political leadership.
I am referring to 'Operation Vent printanier' (Operation spring wind) which took place in 1942 and during which the French authorities, political as well as bureaucratic, assisted the Germans in rounding up Jews and resulted in some 76,000 of them perishing in German concentration camps. Mde. Marine le Pen has in the past made some brave efforts to distance herself from her Father's anti-Semitic utterances (for which he was punished by the French courts) but in the last few days she has been quoted on the subject of one part of this monstrous exercise, the Vel d'Hiv operation which refers to a particular sports stadium in which some 6,000 Jews were imprisoned prior to export to the camps in Germany. She stated that "I don’t think France is responsible for Vel d'Hiv... I think that generally speaking if there are people responsible, it's those who were in power at the time. It's not France."
In saying that she echoes Francois Mitterand who used to send flowers to the grave of Marshal Petain and who insisted that it wasn't 'La France' which was responsible for the atrocity. It's interesting that two other leading politicians, Chirac and Hollande, have faced up to the truth of the matter, in particular Pres. Hollande who said, "Vel d'Hiv was a crime committed in France, by France, against French values and principles". Later, Mde. Le Pen attempted to soften her words but even so they were perhaps an unguarded slip of the tongue which perhaps indicate her true feelings. In the meantime I spotted a headline somewhere today indicating that the French ultra-Leftist candidate, whom one might call 'le Jezza de France' has suddenly enjoyed a surge in the polls. Sacre bleu! Or perhaps that should read 'sacre rouge'!