France 'responsible' for holocaust deportations, court rules - TriWooOx - 02-16-2009 10:06 PM
Quote:The Council of State, the country's highest judicial body, said the Vichy government of the time held 'responsibility' for deportations.
It ruled that Nazi officials did not force them to betray their fellow citizens, but that anti-Semitic persecution was carried out willingly.
But today's ruling stated there would be no payments for the survivors or families of victims, because all had been compensated 'as much as was possible, for all the losses suffered'.
Thousands of Jews were deported from France to concentration camps during the Occupation, which lasted from 1940 until 1944.
Post-war French governments refused to acknowledge any role in the Holocaust by the collaborating Vichy regime.
A Paris court had applied to the Council of State for its opinion on a request by the daughter of a deportee who died at Auschwitz concentration camp for compensation.
She also sought damages for her own personal suffering during and after the Occupation.
The Council left it up to the Paris court to rule on her request.
But, in its decision made in Paris, the Council said that it 'considers that because the acts and actions by the state led to the deportation of people considered Jews by the Vichy regime, they constituted errors and became its responsibility.'
The Council called for a 'solemn recognition of the state's responsibility and of collective prejudice suffered' by the deportees.
Between 1942 and 1944 some 76,000 Jews were deported from France by the Vichy government in collaboration with the German occupying army.
In 1995, former French President Jacques Chirac officially recognised the French state's responsibility in the deportation of French Jews, putting an end to decades of ambiguity by successive governments.
'These dark hours forever sully our history and are an insult to our past and our traditions,' he said.
'Yes, the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French state.' Today France has western Europe's largest Jewish community of around 500,000.
France 'responsible' for holocaust deportations, court rules - Guest - 02-20-2009 07:11 PM
Germany should cite that precedent, claim no liability for the actions of the nazi regime, and stop the financial blood-letting to Israel.