France not responsible for 1942 round-up of Jews, says Le Pen

Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem says 1,000 Jews were deported to the Auschwitz death camp every two or three days in the two months following the stadium arrests. "I think in a general way, more generally actually, those responsible were those in power then, this is not France". "It is not France". "I want them to be proud to be French again".

Israel issued a statement condemning Le Pen's freaky message, which "contradicts the historical truth as expressed in statements by French presidents who recognized the country's responsibility for the fate of the French Jews who perished in the Holocaust".

Israel has slammed Marine Le Pen after the French presidential candidate claimed her country was not responsible for the roundup of Jews during World War Two.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen each have around 24 per cent of support from voters.

French far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is seen beating conservative Francois Fillon to third place in the first round of the April-May presidential election, according to a poll by Kantar Sofres for Figaro-LCI-RTL published on Sunday (April 9).

Ms Le Pen later said in a written statement she "considers that France and the Republic were in London" during wartime and "the Vichy regime wasn't France".

Independent centrist presidential candidate for the presidential election Emmanuel Macron attends a television debate at French private TV channels BFM TV and CNews, in La Plaine-Saint-Denis, outside Paris, France, Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

"Le Pen, who wants to curb immigration, ditch the euro, and hold a referendum on European Union membership, was buoyed by Trump's victory and the British vote to leave the European Union a year ago, hoping a similar groundswell against what she calls "unchecked globalization (and) destructive ultra-liberalism" would propel her to victory", Reuters explained. "It's not France", she added. That is why Marine Le Pen denounced the "so-called Gaullists" for "instrumentalizing" history.

But Communist-backed Melenchon's campaign has been gaining steam recently.

Under Marine Le Pen, the party has softened its image, including by kicking out antisemitic members like Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was excluded from the party in 2015.

FIDH President Dimitris Christopoulos, who defends immigrants' rights, said that Le Pen's presidency will be a political defeat of human rights, speaking with AFP, he said that this "ideological battle" will become an existential priority for communities. Historically, it is estimated that 76,000 French Jews were killed during World War II.

The CRIF umbrella grouping of Jewish organisations called the comments "an insult to France, which honoured itself in 1995 by recognising its responsibility in the deportation of France's Jews".

Marine Le Pen will be hoping to continue to defy the odds in a second round runoff in May.

  • Leroy Wright