A 1000-YEAR-OLIVE TREE, FOR PEACE
MAY is the time for celebrations in France, too. May 8, of course, and before that May 1st. And before that comes the day when the nation remembers all the victims of deportation during WW2. Résistants, FTP (Francs Tireurs et Partisans), Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals... everyone whose life ended in a concentration camp.
It is called : Journée Nationale du Souvenir de la Déportation.
This year, its date was April 27, and in schools throughout the country students were informed of its symbolic value, and made to reflect on the events that justify its being celebrated.
This year too, in the small town called LE CANNET, near the more famous city of Cannes, a new plaque was put up to honor, not just the victims, but the RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS, without whom so many Jewish people would have been among the dead. The names of those who were given that title in Le Cannet are on the plaque, of course.
It took a lot of work on the part of the various associations involved, and of course the cooperation of the city council, but eventually it happened, and last Sunday, a very moving ceremony saw the unveiling of the plaque.
The ceremony started off with a moment of silence (and a few short speeches, too) in front of the first plaque that had been put in the beautiful gardens of the Tivoli. This particular plaque is there thanks to the hard work of the members of an association called AMEJDAM (Association pour la Mémoire des Enfants Juifs Déportés des Alpes Maritimes), who dig into various archives to find the names of the children, and remind the world that these children were once alive in this city, as in others. In Le Cannet, the youngest victim, Nicole Mittelstein, was only 16 months old...
Of course, all the elements of such ceremonies were there, and as usual wreathes of flowers were laid down by the "Monument aux morts".
AMEJDAM's was a pink one.
May the righteous and the victims never be forgotten.