The French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has denied that the French state was responsible for the wartime roundup of Jews at a Paris cycling track who were then sent to Nazi death camps.
The former president Jacques Chirac and the current leader, François Hollande, have both apologised for the role French police played in the corralling of more than 13,000 Jews at the Vel d’Hiv cycling track, which was ordered by Nazi officers in 1942. But Le Pen told the LCI television channel on Sunday: “I don’t think France is responsible for the Vel d’Hiv.”
She added: “I think that, generally speaking, if there are people responsible, it’s those who were in power at the time. It’s not France.”
The leader of the National Front party said France had “taught our children that they have all the reasons to criticise [the country], and to only see, perhaps, the darkest aspects of our history. So I want them to be proud of being French again.”