The recent revisionist declarations from Marine Le Pen have utterly destroyed her efforts to straighten out her party’s image. The National Front will never be a regular party.
American historian Robert Paxton established the indisputable truth on France in World War II. In Vichy France, published in 1973, Paxton revealed that since October 1940, Marshal Pétain’s government had created a file listing the names and addresses of Jews living in France — a list that the Nazi occupiers hadn’t requested. Deportations began on July 16 and 17, 1942. 13,000 people — a third of them children — were arrested by 7,000 French police officers and deported.
Paxton wrote that “the first discriminatory measures against Jews were undertaken by the Vichy government without direct pressure from the Germans.” In 1995, after evading the issue for 50 years, president Jacques Chirac finally admitted that the French state was directly responsible. This seemed to be accepted until Marine Le Pen, repeating the same notions as her father Jean-Marie Le Pen (who is a fan of Marshal Pétain), declared that France was “not responsible” for the Vel d’Hiv Roundup. Was it necessary to rouse this feud during the election campaign? Does Marine Le Pen share the same idea of this Vichy-esque, anti-Semite hoax as her family? Does she think it will really help her election campaign?
Anti-Semitism and Vichyism is no tolerated by the French electorate. So the only conclusion one can draw is that Marine Le Pen really believes in what she’s saying, which disqualifies her from the presidency, and guarantees that all the candidates who respect republican values will end up uniting against her. Despite all its best efforts to become a legitimate party, the National Front fails to do so. Stained by its racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semite roots, the National Front will always be a party like no other.