France honors Jews placed in WWII internment camp

AP News
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Posted: Sep 21, 2012 7:14 AM
France honors Jews placed in WWII internment camp

DRANCY, France (AP) — France has inaugurated a memorial to tens of thousands of Jews forced into a World War II internment camp during World War II that was set up with cooperation from the Nazi collaborationist Vichy government.

Almost 65,000 Jews passed through Drancy, north of Paris, on the way to Holocaust death camps abroad from 1941 to 1944; only 2,000 survived.

At Friday's inauguration, French President Francois Hollande said he hoped the suffering that was experienced at Drancy would give birth to "vigilance" today.

The French government only began acknowledging the country's role in the wartime deaths of much of its Jewish population in the mid-1990s, under then-President Jacques Chirac. Since then, several Holocaust memorials have gone up around the country, and many schools prominently display the names of Jewish children taken to their deaths.