Sarkozy wins plaudit for Holocaust memorial plans
French President Nicolas Sarkozy won a rare plaudit from the opposition over plans to entrust schoolchildren with the "memory" of a child Holocaust victim
PARIS, February 15, 2008 - Battling a collapse in his popularity, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy won a rare plaudit from the opposition Thursday over
plans to entrust schoolchildren with the "memory" of a child Holocaust victim.
Speaking at the annual dinner of the CRIF French Jewish council, Sarkozy
suggested that each French pupil, in the last year of primary school, should
be asked to learn about one of the 11,000 French children killed by the Nazis.
"Nothing is more moving, for a child, than the story of a child his own
age, who has the same games, the same joys and the same hopes as him," Sarkozy
"Every time we can transmit our duty to remember, we have to do it,"
Socialist leader Francois Hollande -- a fierce critic of Sarkozy's right-wing
government policies -- told France-Info radio.
After his election Sarkozy had called for a letter from a World War II
Resistance hero, the 17-year-old communist Guy Moquet, to be read out in all
French high schools as an example of a young man's resistance to oppression.
But that decision ran into a wall of protest from the political left, who
accused Sarkozy of "stealing" a Communist icon.