PARIS (Jun. 19)
Inhabitants of the Jewish district of Saint Paul here live in fear following an attack staged by neo-Nazi commandos a few days ago. Some 40 commandos wearing helmets and arm bands with swastikas attacked shops and passersby in the “pletzl,” the Jewish district, to the shouts of “kill the Jews.”
Witnesses said that many of the attackers had swastikas pointed on their cheeks and elderly people thought they were reliving the dreaded wartime are when Jews were rounded up by the Gestapo and French militiamen to be sent to Nazi death camps.
Minutes after the attack, which book place an Saturday morning, members of the Jewish defense organization (O JD) clashed with commando members who were armed with iron bars. Each time the leaders of the commandos blew their whistles their men shouted “down with the Jews, kill them,” one terrified witness said. Police took some time to intervene after a severe clash between the commandos and O JD militants.
The extreme right-wing European Federation of National Action (FANE) is suspected of being responsible for the attack. FANE; composed of about 50 militants, is considered as the most radical of all right-wing organizations. It is believed to have been set up by dissident members of the Fascist New Forces Party (PFN).
Inhabitants of the Saint Paul district, known as the Jewish Ghetto of Paris though it has lost much of its aspect in 30 years, live with the fear of other neo-Nazi attacks. O JD militants are patrolling the streets of the district day and night and have sworn that any new attack will not go without bloodshed for the neo-Nazis. An O JD spokesman said the time when Jews were victims of pogroms and extermination measures is over. “We are well organized. If they come again they will pay a high price,” the spokesman said.