“My role is not to make people happy. It is to tell the truth as strongly as possible — bluntly, even savagely, if necessary.”
Nazi hunters, a fertility specialist and a Tunisia-born journalist are among the Jewish recipients in 2013 of France’s Legion of Honor award.
Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld is mounting a quixotic campaign for German president. She is running with the Left Party, an ex-Communist group that is strongly critical of Israel.
Charles de Gaulle famously observed that France had “la droite la plus bête au monde” [“the dumbest right-wing in the world”]. Events over the last couple of days reveal that the French Right continues to work hard for bragging rights to that dubious moniker.
In 1995, Serge Klarsfeld described Henri Borlant, a French Jewish doctor born in 1927, as “the sole survivor out of 6000 French Jewish children under age 16 who were deported to Auschwitz in 1942.” On March 3, Borlant published a lucidly eloquent memoir from Les editions du Seuil, “Thanks for Surviving” (Merci d’avoir survécu).
Louis-Ferdinand Céline wrote notoriously anti-Semitic texts depicting villainous Jews raping honest Aryan French. Today, some Jewish writers remain fascinated by Céline the novelist.