The French government has backed down over apparent plans to pay tribute to Marshal Philippe Pétain — who collaborated with the Nazis in the deportation of Jews from France during World War II — as part of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. French President Emmanuel Macron came under fire Wednesday after he said it was “legitimate” to honor Pétain’s role as a “great soldier” in World War I. Hours later, French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said in a Facebook post that no tribute would be paid to Pétain in Saturday’s ceremony. “We had announced that we would honor the marshals of the Great War. Some have deduced that Pétain was one of them; this is not the case. If there was confusion, it was because we were not clear enough on that point,” Griveaux said. (…) Politicians and organizations were quick to criticize his words. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the far-left party France Unbowed, tweeted: “Macron, this time you’ve gone too far! The history of France is not your toy.” Meanwhile, former President François Hollande tweeted: “History doesn’t isolate a single stage, even a glorious military career. It judges the immense and unworthy responsibility of a marshal who deliberately used his name and prestige as a cover for treason and the collaboration and deportation of thousands of Jews in France.”
siehe auch: France says no homage to Nazi collaborator Petain after outcry. President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday (Nov 8) there would be no official homage to Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain as part of World War I ceremonies this week, a day after sparking outrage by saying his inclusion would be “legitimate.” “It was never a question of celebrating him individually,” Macron said in Maubeuge as he toured WWI sites in northern France this week ahead of the 100th anniversary of the armistice on Sunday (Nov 11). Petain was hailed as a national hero after WWI for leading French forces to victory, but during World War II he became head of the French government which collaborated with occupying German forces and helped deport thousands of Jews to death camps. Macron had indicated Wednesday that Petain would be among the eight army chiefs honoured at the Invalides military museum on Saturday, saying he had earned the nation’s gratitude. “He was a great soldier, it’s a fact,” he said, though he stressed that Petain had made “disastrous choices” during World War II. His comments were denounced by rival politicians and Jewish leaders, and set off a flurry of criticism on Twitter. “The only thing we will remember about Petain is that he was convicted, in the name of the French people, of national indignity during his trial in 1945,” Francis Kalifat of the CRIF association of French Jewish groups; President Macron sparks outrage by calling infamous French Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain a ‘great soldier’ during WWI. Philippe Petain assissted in the Holocaust and deported thousands of Jews. Macron said that Marshal Petain made some bad choice in the Second World War He said ‘I don’t hide any page of history’ as he praised Petain’s greatness in WWI. The Lion of Verdun began working with Nazis against Britian during WWII French president Emmanuel Macron sparked outrage yesterday by paying tribute to his country’s most infamous Nazi collaborator. The head of state said Philippe Petain was ‘a great soldier’ during the First World War, and simply made some bad choices during the Second World War. These included supporting the German war effort, and assisting in the Holocaust by allowing thousands of French Jews to be deported to their deaths in concentration camps.
French President Macron’s decision to honor Marshal Petain, who was complicit in the deportation of thousands of French Jews during the Holocaust, is an insult to Jewish communities around the world.— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) November 8, 2018