(JTA) — Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate in the French presidential elections, said that her country is not responsible for the deportation of thousands of Jews to death camps in 1942.
Le Pen, who according to recent polls is one of the two leading candidates ahead of the first round of the elections on April 23, said this during an interview Sunday about the roundup and deportation of 13,152 from the Vel d’Hiv stadium in Paris, which the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem defines on its website as “a symbol of the responsibility of the regime and the French nation for the Holocaust.”
Responding to a question on the subject during an interview in Paris for the RTL network and Le Figaro, Le Pen, who has a 24-percent approval rating according to a poll published Monday, said: ”I think France is not responsible for Vel d’Hiv.”
She added: “If anyone is responsible, then it is those in power at the time, not France as such. It wasn’t France.”
Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, on Sunday condemned Le Pen’s remark as “revisionist,” meaning an attempt to deny the Holocaust.