France 'responsible' for holocaust deportations during WWII | world | Hindustan Times
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France 'responsible' for holocaust deportations during WWII

world Updated: Feb 18, 2009 01:00 IST

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France has for the first time accepted its role in the holocaust, acknowledging that it "willingly" deported thousands of Jews to their deaths in concentration camps during World War II.

The Council of State, France's highest judicial body, ruled that the Vichy government of the time was "responsible" for the deportations of the Jews during the Occupation, which lasted from 1940 until 1944, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"The court considers that because the acts and actions by the state led to the deportation of people, considered Jews by the Vichy regime, they constituted errors and became its responsibility," the ruling said.

But the court said the "anti-Semitic" persecution was actually carried out by France willingly and it didn't betray its citizens under "pressure" from Adolf Hitler-led Nazis in neighbouring Germany.

However, the Council of State has ruled out any payments for the survivors or families of victims, as all had been compensated "as much as was possible, for all the losses suffered".

Monday's verdict came in the wake of an application by a Paris court to the Council of State, seeking its opinion on a compensation request by the daughter of a French deportee who died at Auschwitz concentration camp.

Between 1942 and 1944, some 76,000 Jews were said to be deported from France by the Vichy regime in collaboration with the German-occupying army. Until now post-war governments in France refused to acknowledge any role in the Holocaust by the Vichy.