French president visits Buchenwald
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French president visits Buchenwald

FRANKFURT, Sept. 22 (JTA) – French President Jacques

Chirac has laid a wreath for Holocaust victims at the site of the

Buchenwald concentration camp.

Chirac made the trip last week while in Germany for a French-German summit. The visit to Buchenwald was not the French president’s first gesture toward the Jewish community. Shortly after taking office in 1995, he became the first French president to acknowledge his country’s complicity in the persecution of French Jews during World War II. A renewed debate in France about collaboration with the Nazis is expected to take place next month with the onset of the trial of former Vichy government official Maurice Papon. Papon, now 87, is accused of having deported more than 1,500 Jews, many of them children, from the Bordeaux area when he was secretary-general of the region during the war.