The central fiction of Gaullism, parodied.
France's far-right presidential contender Marine Le Pen has prompted a major outcry by denying that the French government was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II.
Le Pen said Sunday on RTL radio "I don't think France is responsible for the Vel d'Hiv,"— a reference to the stadium where thousands of Jews were rounded up before being sent to Nazi death camps.
Some 13,000 Jews were deported by French police on July 16-17, 1942, many of whom were first holed up in harsh conditions at Paris' Vel d'Hiv — its Winter Velodrome stadium.
In all, about 75,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Only 2,500 survived.
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Le Pen later specified in a written statement that she "considers that France and the Republic were in London" during the war and "the Vichy regime wasn't France."
She argued that had been the position of France's heads of state, including Charles De Gaulle, until former President Jacques Chirac "wrongly" acknowledged the state's role in Jewish persecution during World War II.
"It does not discharge the effective and personal responsibility of the French who took part into the monstrous roundup of the Vel d'Hiv," she wrote.