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Macron commemorates Holocaust victims amid growing anti-Semitic acts

(Xinhua)    11:34, January 28, 2020

PARIS, Jan. 27 -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in a ceremony during which he inaugurated a renovated memorial wall to victims deported to Nazi death camps during WWII.

Initially inaugurated in 2005, the wall, located in the Marais district in Paris, named about 76,000 French Jews victims of the Holocaust. It had been renovated to add 175 new names and 1,498 birth dates, in addition to the correction of the spelling of thousands of names "to continue to speak out to not forget."

"Those who were deprived of a name in exchange for a number retrieve here their identities," Macron addressed a gathering at the Shoah memorial museum in Paris.

"That's why this renovation is so vital," he said, stressing that "ignorance has always made the bed of racism and anti-Semitism and remembrance and education are our antidote."

"The Holocaust must remain an open wound in the side of humanity, in the side of the French Republic," the president said, warning about "unbearable revival of anti-Semitism," which, he said, was ravaging France and European neighbors.

"Even today, because they were born Jewish, women, men, children are insulted, despised, beaten, sometimes killed. This recurring anti-Semitism is not the problem of the Jews, it is our problem for all. This is the problem of the Republic," he told the gathering.

In order to curb a resurgence of anti-Semitic acts, Macron pledged "to yield nothing" and to continue fighting anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms, notably via a resolution which aims to propose a new definition of anti-Semitism and that of the international alliance for memory of the Holocaust in addition to a bill against hatred speech on the net adopted at first reading by the National Assembly in July 2019.

Macron promised to ensure security of Jewish religious sites. "868 places of Jewish worships are subject to increased surveillance. Associations calling for violence are dissolved; teams of specialized investigators are being mobilized all over the territory ..."

In 2019, 687 anti-Semitic acts were reported in 2019, up by 27 percent from a year earlier, according to the Interior Ministry's data released on Sunday.

In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile attacks targeting the Jewish community, most notably the killing of four Jews in southern France in March 2012 by a self-styled Islamist.

In March 2018, Mireille Knoll, a Holocaust survivor was found dead in her apartment in Paris. She had been stabbed multiple times before her flat was set on fire.

Anti-Semitic acts also include tomb desecration and anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on walls near synagogues.

France is home to more than 400,000 Jewish people, the largest population in Europe.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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