France honors Holocaust victims of mass Paris roundup - Fox News

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France on Sunday honored 13,000 Holocaust victims at ceremonies marking 80 years since French police rounded them up over two days in July 1942 for simply being Jewish and sent them to Nazi death camps.

President Emmanuel Macron led the event that culminated in a week of ceremonies commemorating the Vel d'Hiv police roundup on July 16-17, 1942. Macron visited a site in Pithiviers south of Paris where police sent families after the Vel d'Hiv roundup, before sending them on to camps.

The raids were among the most shameful acts undertaken by France during World War II, and among the darkest moments in its history.

Over those two days, police herded 13,152 people — including 4,115 children — into the Winter Velodrome of Paris, known as the Vel d'Hiv, before they were sent on to Nazi camps. It was the biggest such roundup in western Europe. 


Children were separated from their families. Of those children expelled from the Vel d'Hiv 80 years ago, only six survived.

A memorial is pictured near a train car symbolizing the Drancy camp, at the Shoah memorial Tuesday, July 12, 2022 in Drancy, outside Paris. The Paris mayor and head of the French Holocaust Memorial will mark the 80th anniversary of the round-up of the Vel d'Hiv, the biggest Nazi roundup of Jews in France, visiting the site used as an internment camp during World War II for tens of thousands of people who were then sent on to Auschwitz and other death camps. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)

In public testimonies over the past week, survivor Rachel Jedinak described a middle-of-the-night knock on the door, and being marched through the streets of Paris and herded into the velodrome, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

She recalled her desperate mother shouting at police. Some neighbors informed on Jews, others wept as they watched them corralled like livestock.


It took France's leadership 50 years after World War II to officially acknowledge the state's involvement in the Holocaust when then-President Jacques Chirac apologized for the French authorities' role in the Vel d'Hiv raids.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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