French President Emmanuel Macron praises General who collaborated with the Nazis

French President Emmanuel Macron praises General who collaborated with the Nazis

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

France's President Emmanuel Macron caused controversy after praising a First World War General who subsequently collaborated with the Nazis in the Second World War.

Marshal Philippe Petain led the French army to victory in Verdun in 1916, but was later convicted for treason for his actions as leader of Vichy France in 1940 to 1944.

Mr Macron said on Wednesday in Charleville-Mezieres that Petain deserved praise for being "a great soldier" in the First World War, although he took "fatal choices during the Second World War".

France's leading Jewish group, the CRIF, called Mr Macron's words "shocking" and "an insult".

Petain was complicit in the 1942 deportation of 13,000 Jews from France in the Vel' d'Hiv round-up that was part of the Holocaust.

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