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French WWII memorial vandalized with graffiti against COVID passport

‘Anti Pass’ painted on monument near Paris, with the letters reminiscent of Nazi SS symbol; Macron: ‘An insult to the memory of our heroes’

Graffiti against France's COVID-19 passes is seen on the Mont Valerien WWII memorial in Suresnes, near Paris, December 13, 2021. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Graffiti against France's COVID-19 passes is seen on the Mont Valerien WWII memorial in Suresnes, near Paris, December 13, 2021. (Screen capture: Twitter)

NANTERRE, France — A memorial to French World War II soldiers and Resistance fighters has been vandalized with an anti-health pass slogan, authorities said Monday, in what President Emmanuel Macron called an “insult” to the nation’s memory.

The Mont Valerien monument in Suresnes, west of Paris, was vandalized with “Anti Pass” painted in large letters, with the style of the double-s reminiscent of that used by Nazis for their SS inscriptions, authorities said.

The inscription on the monument — which was inaugurated in 1960 by then-president Charles de Gaulle — is 50 meters (164 feet) long, they said.

Macron on Monday called the act “an insult to the memory of our heroes and the memory of the nation.”

In a tweet, he said that “to sully this sacred place of the republic is to violate what unites us. The perpetrators will be found and put on trial.”

France requires a health pass — proof of vaccination, COVID recovery, or a negative test result — for access to restaurants and cafes, public transport and cultural venues, a requirement that sparked major protests last summer.

The government is pushing for a fast rollout of booster shots in an effort to avoid another lockdown, as the new Omicron virus variant is causing infections to spike.

It has also said the pass will lapse for anyone who fails to get a booster shot.

The health authorities have reported that more than 76 percent of the eligible population had been fully vaccinated as of last week, one of the highest vaccination rates in the European Union.

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