French authorities and Jewish leaders commemorated the Vel D’Hiv raid in Paris.
Between July 16 and 17, 1942, over 13,000 Jews, including several thousand children, were arrested by the French police and rounded up in the Vél d’Hiv cycle track in Paris to be deported to Nazi camps.
“The Vel d’Hiv raid was an act of the French government and it was carried out by French people. It has become the symbol of all persecutions,” the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly highlighted speaking at the ceremony, adding that the country looked away and remained silent.
In her speech, Parly also recalled that 2019 marks the 120th anniversary of the trial against the French Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus.
“True courage is that of truth. One hundred twenty years after the Rennes trial, the Armed Forces must face their history. One hundred twenty years later, it is time for the Armed Forced to give back to Alfred Dreyfus all the honor and all the years of service that were taken away from him. And I will take care of personally,” she promised.
The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, the president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) Francis Kalifat, the renowned Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld and some Holocaust survivors also attended the ceremony.