'Deadly Risk': Holocaust Survivor and Veterans of French Resistance Denounce Le Pen
'Today, nationalist extremism risks conquering the power in our country and this represents the most imminent danger to our liberty and the unity of our people'
Earlier this week, French World War II survivors urged voters to reject Marine Le Pen in the country's upcoming presidential election, saying at an event commemorating the national day of resistance that she was a "deadly risk" for France.
Two resistance fighters and an Auschwitz survivor spoke at a ceremony Sunday at a former deportation camp to recall the horrors of the war and warn against the resurgence of the far right.
"For our country, the values of the Republic, our children, and grandchildren, this deadly risk can't be taken," Auschwitz survivor Denise Toros Marter and resistance fighters Sidney Chouraqui and Louis Monguilan said in prepared remarks. "We know that those attracted by the extremists aren't extremists themselves. But this was also the case for many of the French or German people momentarily seduced by [France's Nazi-allied wartime leader Marshal Philippe] Pétain or [Adolf] Hitler without imagining the future horrors they would commit."
"Today, nationalist extremism risks conquering the power in our country and this represents the most imminent danger to our liberty and the unity of our people," they said, alluding to Le Pen.
Le Pen is the leader of the National Front, a right-wing party founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has notoriously minimized the Holocaust, calling it a "mere detail of history."
On Sunday, resistance fighter and concentration camp survivor Christiane Cabalé demanded that members of the National Front leave a separate commemoration ceremony being held in Saint Nazaire.
"I won't make a speech, but just want to say that the presence of the National Front here is a disgrace and an insult to the friends we lost," she reportedly said. "I ask that you leave."
France's national election will take place on Sunday, May 7.