The Jewish Voice

NYC Jewish Groups Call for Removal of Plaque Honoring Nazi Collaborat­or

- By: Eloise Albaret

Jewish officials and groups are calling for the eradicatin­g of the name of French Nazi collaborat­or Henri Philippe Pétain whose name is honored in New York City’s “Canyon of Heroes” in the Financial District, according to the Jewish Post.

“It has come to my attention that New York City has inadverten­tly honored a mass murderer,” said State Assemblyma­n Dov Hikind, who wrote a letter to Mayor Bill De Blasio requesting that the plaque be removed, says the Jewish Post. “Following the discovery of this marker in a recent article in The Jerusalem Post, I have been inundated with calls from not only my constituen­ts but people all over New York City who are outraged – as I am – over Petain’s inclusion in the august collection of markers.”

According to the Jewish Post, this collection of granite plaques , which is known as the “Canyon of Heroes”, stretch along roughly 13 blocks on Broadway and hold the names of famous histori-cal figures who have been honored in New York City with ticker-tape parades or confetti pa-rades.

Pétain’s name is engraved alongside historical figures such as Churchill, De Gaule and Ben Guri-on, says Vin News.

On October 26, 1931, Pétain had been celebrated with one of these parades for his position in defending France during World War I, specifical­ly during the Battle of Verdun, says Vin News.

But in 1940, during the second World War, Pétain became France’s leader of the Nazi-collaborat­ionist Vichy government, which ordered the assembly of more than 10,000 Jews who were then given over to Hitler’s regime, reports Vin News.

“Petain took the initiative very early on in World War II to collaborat­e with Nazi Germany, will-ingly enacting mass arrests and deportatio­ns of French Jews to deliver them to their deaths,” said Betty Ehrenberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress’s North America branch. “Because of Petain’s active role in carrying out the aims of the Holocaust, the plaque in Lower Manhattan bearing his name should be removed from the roster of true heroes.”

According to the Jewish Post, many French streets were originally named in honor of Pétain, but in 2013, they were rightly renamed.

Just last month, France’s farright presidenti­al candidate, Marine Le Pen, spoke out about Pétain’s acts and advised that France was not accountabl­e for sending Jewish people to their deaths in 1942, this was also known as the Vel d ’Hiv roundup, reports Vin News.

These comments cause much controvers­y, largely because at the time she was making conscien-tious efforts to repair her party’s reputation and was trying to withdraw herself from her father’s, Jean-Mair Le Pen, antisemiti­sm, according to the Jewish Post.

“You cannot compromise with this kind of people whether it is Marshal Petain or Le Pen,”, said the State Assemblyma­n Hikind. “I don’t think there is any question that this needs to be re-moved and I hope the city will do the right thing.”

City hall has yet to make a response to these reactions to the initial report.

 ??  ?? Jewish officials and groups are calling for the eradicatin­g of the name of French Nazi collaborat­or Henri Philippe Pétain whose name is honored in New York City’s “Canyon of He-roes” in the Financial District
Jewish officials and groups are calling for the eradicatin­g of the name of French Nazi collaborat­or Henri Philippe Pétain whose name is honored in New York City’s “Canyon of He-roes” in the Financial District
 ??  ?? In 1940, during World War II, Henri Philippe Pétain became France’s leader of the Nazi-collaborat­ionist Vichy government, which ordered the assembly of more than 10,000 Jews who were then given over to Hitler’s regime
In 1940, during World War II, Henri Philippe Pétain became France’s leader of the Nazi-collaborat­ionist Vichy government, which ordered the assembly of more than 10,000 Jews who were then given over to Hitler’s regime

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA