Noticias Mundiales

REPORTING. "It’s weird to see it in real life" : for 15 years, the commune of Montreuil has organized trips to Auschwitz

How can we fight against the resurgence of anti-Semitic acts in France in the context of the war between Israel and Hamas, and while the bombings continue on the Gaza Strip? In Montreuil, in Seine-Saint-Denis, near Paris, the town hall still focuses on education. For 15 years, the city has organized, with the Shoah Memorial, a visit to the Auschwitz camp with residents, many of them young people.

The journey is long to southern Poland. First a plane going from Paris to Krakow. Then 45 minutes by bus for these residents of Montreuil. Everyone goes down to the Juden ramp, the railway line where the convoys of deportees arrived. A few meters further, at the entrance to the camp, silence reigns. We are a few meters from the iron gate with the infamous inscription: “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”). Mehlia has her chin raised, she can’t take her eyes off the inscription. The student stops for a moment before passing under the porch: “It’s weird to see it in person. Anyway, since this morning our blood has been freezing. I’ve got shivers down my spine.”

The drama follows the Montreuillois on the other side of the gate, to the interior of the buildings with red bricks and tiles. Today, they are places of exhibition but before the deportees lived there. Maya and Galice, 14, find it hard to believe: “We’re in a bit of a trance state, where we don’t really realize it. We don’t have the impression that it’s possible for this to happen. Especially this room in which there are lots of portraits of children deported, killed. There are their names too. That immediately makes it much more concrete. I feel much more concerned than just now because we really have the names. If we had grown up with them time, if that happens we would be there too. How can they do that?” Between two ruins of gas chambers, a prayer in Hebrew from the secretary of the Jewish home in Montreuil, in the group with them.

Among the schoolgirls, Maya thinks that human beings have not evolved much since the Second World War. She speaks knowingly: “I have already seen people say very anti-Semitic things under the pretext of a joke, sending swastikas or things like that at the class group because they found it funny. Even though we had just work on it and that they had a minimum of awareness. Immediately I got quite angry because it’s scandalous to say things like that. There were people who defended him by saying ‘Leave him, he “It’s stupid, it’s not serious. It’s still very serious things to send photos of Hitler giving Nazi salutes, to send swastikas. It’s illegal.”

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  • Source of information and images “francetvinfo”

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