Both the French president and prime minister are calling for justice after graffiti denying the Holocaust was found at a memorial center in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane this week.
“Liar” had been painted over the words “martyr” and “when the truth” on a wall at the Centere de la Mémoire, a memory center honoring those slain in the World War II massacre that took place in the village where the center is located, said Philippe Lacroix, the mayor of Oradour-sur-Glane.
The president of the center informed Lacroix of the incident on Friday, Lacroix told CNN affiliate BFMTV.
Police are searching for those responsible, Lacroix said, but it was obvious to him that it was clearly “support for a denier.”
The village of Oradour-sur-Glane was the site of a massacre in World War II, when German troops destroyed the entire village on June 10, 1944, killing 642 people.
The Elysee released a statement about the incident, saying that French President Emmanuel Macron “condemns this unspeakable act in the strongest possible terms. He gives his full support to the mayor and the municipality. He assures them that everything will be done so that the perpetrators of this act are brought to justice.”
The President also commented Saturday on Twitter, saying, “Nothing can make us forget the memory of our 642 martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane.”
Prime Minister Jean Castex also spoke out on Twitter.
“I learned with anger and consternation of the degradation of the memory center of Oradour-sur-Glane. To sully this place of refuge is also to sully the memory of our martyrs. Everything is being done to ensure that the perpetrators of these infamous acts are brought to justice,” he said.
The vandalism is the latest anti-Semitic incident in the country, which has seen a rise in anti-Semitism in recent years.
In 2018, it was announced that anti-Semitic acts in France had risen by 69%. Last year, Macron said antisemitism was at its worst levels since World War II, and announced a crackdown on the “scourge” of anti-Semitic acts.