PARIS (Aug. 9)
France today commemorated the anniversary of the Rue des Rosiers massacre in which six people were killed and 22 wounded when terrorists machinegunned a Jewish restaurant in the old Jewish quarter in Paris known as the Pletzel.
Interior Minister Pierre Joxe and Deputy Education Minister Roger Gerard Schwatzenberg represented President Francois Mitterrand and Premier Laurent Fabius who both sent personal messages as well. The head of the Paris mosque, lsmail Ahmed Benzourou, stood in the crowd next to Israeli Ambassador Ovadia Soffer and representatives of the Catholic church and of various French organizations.
Less than 100 people attended the ceremony outside Jo Goldenberg’s restaurant. Theo Klein, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Organizations (CRIF), said that he had called the meeting to “show the world that we have not forgotten.”
But the small gathering prompted one of Jo Goldenberg’s employes to say, sadly, today: “Two years later and everything seems forgotten. Only the politicians remember, and probably for their own reasons.”
PREOCCUPIED WITH MURDER OF JEWISH WOMAN
The local Jewish residents who participated in the ceremony were more preoccupied with the murder last week in Cannes of a 75-year-old Jewish widow whose only crime, according to her 20-year-old killer, was that she was Jewish.
Henriette Barsky was stabbed to death last Friday by Reynald Eykans, a self-confessed Nazi who told police after he was apprehended, “I hate Jews.” He told police investigators that he felt a compelling urge to kill Barsky, for whom he had worked as a part-time gardener and handyman, after he discovered she was Jewish.
Eykans was expelled four years ago from an agricultural school in his home town of Lille, in northern France, after the authorities found out that he was spending his free time daubing anti-Semitic slogans on walls of public buildings and dressing up in a Nazi uniform.
Barsky had lost her husband, father and brother in Nazi death camps and had served during the last few years as local secretary of the French Association of Former Deportees and Nazi Victims. It was when she gave Eykans a pack of Association letters to mail that he said he found out she was Jewish.