‘Horrifying’: Memorial Honoring Victims Of Holocaust Vandalized By Rioters: Report
TOPSHOT - People look at burning tyres blocking a street in Bordeaux,, south-western France on late June 29, 2023, during riots and incidents nationwide after the killing of a 17-year-old boy by a police officer's gunshot following a refusal to comply in a western suburb of Paris. (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP)
(Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

A memorial in France honoring those who were deported from the country by the Nazis during World War II was reportedly vandalized this week by rioters protesting the police shooting of a 17-year-old boy on Tuesday. 

The vandalism targeted the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation, a monument erected in 1962 in a Paris suburb remembering the roughly 200,000 people who were deported from France to Nazi Germany during World War II. This would include Jews who would become victims of the Holocaust, Gypsies, and French workers who were sent to labor camps. 

“It is truly horrifying to witness the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation in Nanterre being vandalized,” the European Jewish Congress said in a statement. “This shameful act of disrespect for the memory of the victims of the Holocaust must be unequivocally condemned and those responsible held accountable.”

Ariel Goldmann, president of the United Jewish Social Fund, also called out the vandalism, according to the Jewish Chronicle. “It is an absolute outrage and a disgrace. Nothing is respected,” he said. 

The deportation memorial has drawn some criticism in the past for not explicitly referencing the Jewish victims of the Nazi deportations.  

Hundreds have been arrested in France since violent riots broke out after 17-year-old Nahel M. was shot during a confrontation with police after they attempted to stop a vehicle he was in. French police were attempting to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle Nahel M. was in, but he did not stop and drove through a red light. Police later caught up to the vehicle, then stuck in traffic, and told Nahel M. to get out. As the car attempted to drive away, an officer shot the teen, Nanterre prosecutor Pascal Prache said.

Rioters have burned buildings and cars while also targeting police with fireworks. 


Activists have claimed that the shooting is part of a pattern of violence by French police against minorities. 

The shooting, which was condemned by top French officials including Macron, will be investigated by two magistrates. The officer responsible for the shooting has been suspended pending an investigation. 

“An act like the one that we saw, if the investigation confirms the videos that we have seen, is never justified,” French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said of the shooting. 

A French police union responded to the public condemnation by saying that the officers “like any citizen, have the right to the presumption of innocence.”

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