France’s chief rabbi agrees with Sarkozy’s Holocaust children planFrance's Chief Rabbi, Joseph Sitruk: “The idea is simply to realize that the Shoah, the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people, is not the problem of the Jews, it is a problem of society.”
Feb, 18, 2008
PARIS (European Jewish Press)---France’s Chief Rabbi Joseph Sitruk said he "perfectly agreed" with the idea of President Nicolas Sarkozy that each pupil in the last year of French primary school "adopts" the memory of one of the 11,000 French Jewish children killed in the Holocaust, learning about the child's background and fate.
"I perfectly agree with the idea of Nicolas Sarkozy,” the rabbi told Monday private French tv station I-télé, calling Sarkozy’s idea "nice" and "generous."
He said the idea will allow the children of France to better understand a phenomenon which affects them and which is a considerable stake.”
It is the first time the chief rabbi gives his opinion since the presidential announcement last Wednesday at the annual dinner of CRIF, the representative body of Jewish organizations in France.
He said that “it is not a topical problem, so there is no emergency to take a position.”
He added: “The idea is simply to realize that the Shoah, the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people, is not the problem of the Jews, it is a problem of society.”
"There is a drama which does not cease lasting, that of all massacres which were since perpetrated", he said.
“Nothing is comparable with anything, but there were so many misfortunes in the world, danger is still there, and the humanity did not understand what Shoah could mean as a considerable teaching,” Sitruk said.
For the rabbi, "the president wanted to make understand to our country that the memory transmission was almost a ‘state affair’, the affair of all.”
He suggested to the government to launch a commission of specialists, teachers, former deportees and resistance fighters.”
"Education will save our country, nothing else ", Sitruk said.