dimanche, février 17, 2008

Au revoir les Enfants

There is an enormous dialogue going on in France right now over a topic that has long been a sore point with the French: their role in the Holocaust. This time the catalyst is a command by President Nicolas Sarkozy that every child study the life, and death of another French child-one who died during the Holocaust.

Some, including some Jews, are terribly upset, in their Gallic fashion: how dare you impose this trauma on young kids?

Various psychologists agree.

An anti-racism organization demands to know why students should not study non-French children and other persecuted minorities.

Others believe this is a wonderful notion, promoting a sense of shared empathy and solidarity that will help prevent other horrors.

Sarkozy, who is outspoken in his belief in God, is also twice divorced and married three times. It is hard to figure out what the French think is more offensive-his faith or his lifestyle.

This kind of scenario would be almost impossible to imagine here-which is what makes the French both endlessly provoking and fascinating-at the same time.

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