The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/france/vel-d-hiv/

Archive/File: holocaust/france
Last-Modified: 1994/08/24

Archival note: I do not have a publication date for this AP story,
which was published in August of 1994. I would appreciate having the
exact date if anyone should locate it. knm.

        PARIS (AP) -- Facing up to one of the most shameful moments of
French history, President Francois Mitterrand on Sunday dedicated a
memorial to 16,000 Jews rounded up by French police in World War II
and sent to Nazi death camps.
        His presence at the commemoration of the notorious Vel d'Hiv
roundup marks increased willingness by French officialdom to
recognize the extent of the wartime Vichy regime's collaboration in
the Holocaust.
        The Vel d'Hiv roundup was the largest single roundup of Jews in
France. It exceeded the expectations of the Nazi occupiers, whom
the Vichy regime hoped to appease in exchange for greater
        At dawn on July 16, 1942, French police banged on doors across
Paris. Men women and children were torn from their beds and taken
by buses to the Velodrome d'Hiver, an indoor cycling stadium.
        They were imprisoned for three days without food, water or
sanitary facilities. Many died. The rest were transferred to
French-run camps and then to Auschwitz. Only a few came back.
        Mitterrand gave no speech but was applauded by Holocaust
survivors when he laid a wreath and dedicated the monument near the
site of the stadium, which has been torn down.
        In all, about 75,000 Jews were deported from France during World
War II. Only 2,500 survived. Thousands of others were saved by
ordinary French families.

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