France confronts holocaust history
PARIS — Early on a Thursday morning in July 1942, more than 4,000 police officers set out in pairs through the streets of occupied Paris, carrying arrest orders for scores of Jewish men, women and children. Within days, 13,152 people had been rounded up for deportation to death camps. No more than 100 would survive.
The mass arrests, the largest in wartime France, were planned and carried out not by the Nazi occupiers but by the French. That difficult reality, for years denied, obscured, willfully ignored or forgotten, is now increasingly accepted here, historians and French officials say, part of a broader reckoning with France’s uncomfortable wartime past.
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