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Swastikas daubed on memorial to Holocaust survivor Simone Veil in France

Antisemitic graffiti seen on letter boxes displaying a portrait of late French politician and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, February 11, 2019. (Jacques Demarthon/AFP)
Antisemitic graffiti seen on letter boxes displaying a portrait of late French politician and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, February 11, 2019. (Jacques Demarthon/AFP)

A stone memorial commemorating the life of Holocaust survivor and former minister Simone Veil has been defaced with swastikas, police say, sparking new concern over antisemitism in France.

The memorial to Veil at Peros Guirec in the western Brittany region was found to have been daubed with the Nazi insignia in the morning. An investigation has been opened.

Veil, born in 1917, survived the Holocaust to become a celebrated figure in French politics, fighting for abortion rights, battling antisemitism and also serving as speaker of the European parliament.

As a teenager she was deported to Auschwitz and lost her mother, father and brother in the camps.

Veil died in 2017 and in 2018 President Emmanuel Macron decreed she should have the honor of a final resting place in the Pantheon in Paris that holds the tombs of France’s greatest heroes.

The memorial, which was inaugurated in 2017, has now been cleaned. The Ouest-France newspaper says it was the third time the memorial had been targeted within the last week. It had previously been smeared with mustard and excrement.

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