Culture&Arts

Le Pen Says France Not Responsible for Nazi's Vel d'Hiv Round-Up

Le Pen Says France Not Responsible for Nazi's Vel d'Hiv Round-Up

More than 13,000 Jews were arrested and then deported during the raid of the Vel d'Hiv in Paris in 1942.

Nicolas Lebourg, a historian who specialises in the far right, said that with her comments Sunday, Le Pen "wanted to add fuel to the fire" after a debate that failed to move the needle for her campaign last week. "It is not France".

Analysts say forecasting the two-stage election is even more hard than usual, with an unusually high number of voters saying they plan to abstain or have not made up their minds.

Far-right candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen speaks during a campaign meeting in Monswiller near Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

Israel also slammed Le Pen, with the foreign ministry saying "the declaration is contrary to the historical truth".

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CRIF were referring to the 1995 recognition by the Gaullist President, Jacques Chirac, of the French state's shared responsibility for deporting Jews to Nazi death camps. If nobody obtains an outright majority, the two top candidates will vie for the presidency in the run-off on 7 May.

In what will also be familiar to American voters from Election 2016, the French political and media establishment is vocally anti-Le Pen.

Le Pen later specified in a written statement that she "considers that France and the Republic were in London" during the war and that the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis "wasn't France".

US investment bank Citigroup said on Monday it had changed its baseline, or most probable, scenario for the French presidential election to a win for centrist Emmanuel Macron, compared to its earlier forecast of a victory for conservative Francois Fillon. Macron - and Le Pen named the from the Journal Dimanche - are - but when the election were used today equally have lost soil somewhat and might get 23 percent.

If elected, Marine Le Pen would be the first woman in France to hold that office. Current president Francois Hollande has said what happened at Vel d'Hiv was a "crime committed in France, by France".

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However Le Pen spins this, her words are a reminder of the ugly strains of anti-Semitism and historical revisionism still present in the National Front, despite her efforts to give the party a respectable makeover.

Melenchon's emergence over the past week has raised the possibility that he will square off against far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the decisive second round in May, making the final result far more unpredictable.

Around 50 people demonstrated in front of the venue in Ajaccio, chanting "We do not want the National Front", according to local newspaper Corse Matin.

A Friday poll conducted by French firm Ifop showed Melenchon polling 0.5 percentage points higher at 17 percent, while Le Pen and Macron's numbers have slipped slightly.

"Some had forgotten that Marine Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen", Macron added.

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