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France: Memorial to Holocaust victims and WWII resistance in Paris suburb vandalised during anti-police riots, house of mayor attacked

Rioters defaced Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation et de la Résistance (Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation and the Resistance) in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris in France.

On Thursday, a memorial commemorating Holocaust victims and members of the French resistance in Paris was vandalised and defaced by drawing graffiti on it during the extensive riots that followed the killing of 17-year-old Nahel M. at the hands of a police officer in a suburb of Paris. The historical site was defaced with a variety of anti-police sentiments.

The 200,000 Frenchmen who were deported to Nazi concentration camps during World War II, as well as those who fought in the underground resistance movement against the Nazis when France was occupied by Germans, are honoured at the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation et de la Résistance (Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation and the Resistance) in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris in France.

European Jewish Congress referred to the incident as “truly horrifying” and a ” shameful act of disrespect for the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.” They also called for an unequivocal condemnation of the act.

Videos of the incident show youths chanting slogans and writing anti-police messages on the wall of the memorial

Combat Antisemitism Movement tweeted, “The vandalization of this monument desecrates the memory of the victims of the Nazis. Amid the social unrest currently roiling France, Holocaust memorials must be respected and protected.”

They said that the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation in Nanterre honours the 200,000 people who were sent from Vichy France to German concentration camps during WWII.

Ariel Goldmann, president of the United Jewish Social Fund posted, “The vandalism was an absolute outrage and a disgrace. Nothing is respected.”

The mayor of a village south of Paris, Vincent Jeanbrun, alleged on Sunday that the protestors crashed a car into his house, injuring his wife and one of his kids. “Last night, a milestone was reached in horror and ignominy. My home was attacked and my family was the victim of an assassination attempt,” he wrote on social media. “My wife and one of my children were injured. It was an attempted murder of unspeakable cowardice,” he added.

Despite a significant police presence, violence has been raging in cities such as Lyon, Pau, Toulouse and Lille across France since Tuesday. Stores have been looted and cars and structures including the largest library in Marseilles called Alcazar, set on fire by the rioters.

Over 2,000 people have already been arrested by the police. The government deployed 45,000 police to city streets across the country to head off a fifth night of violence. 

Meanwhile, mourners gathered at a mosque in Nanterre on Saturday afternoon local time for the victim’s funeral service. Silence reigned as the crowd awaited the coffin’s departure from the mosque and subsequent interment. He was laid to rest in Nanterre’s Mont Valérien cemetery.

Protests and unrest ensued in Paris suburbs after a teenager was killed by a police officer on 27 June. The 17-year-old named Nahel M. was a delivery agent. He was stopped by the police and was asked to show documents while he was driving when he tried to flee the scene during which shots were fired. One of the bullets hit him in the chest and he died on the spot.

The instruction to stop was issued under a routine traffic check. The victim was previously convicted of failing to stop at a signal as well as driving without a license. The accused official was detained on suspicion of manslaughter.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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