French memorial honoring deported Jewish children vandalized

PARIS — France’s President Emmanuel Macron condemned the desecration of a memorial to the Jewish children of Izieu, in eastern France, deported to Nazi camps in 1944.

In a statement Tuesday Macron denounced the “shameful and cowardly act that won’t remain unpunished.”

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb also called the attack “cowardly and despicable.”

The plaque bearing the names of the victims — 44 children and 7 adults — was broken and removed from its base in a public garden in the city of Lyon.

“We are horrified but we won’t give up. We’ll rebuild it,” said Jean Levy, the head of a charity committed to preserving the memory of the 44 Jewish children deported from Izieu in eastern France in 1944.

On April 6, 1944, the Lyon Gestapo, headed by Klaus Barbie, searched the Children’s Home of Izieu and arrested the children and their teachers. Most of them died in gas chambers at Auschwitz. Only one adult survived.

Barbie was convicted in 1987 of crimes against humanity and later died in a French prison.

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