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Nazi reference as COVID pass protesters vandalise French WWII memorial

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By AFP
The graffiti at Mont Valérien
The graffiti at Mont Valérien   -   Copyright  Credit: AFP

A famous monument to the memory of French resistance fighters and combatants in World War II has been vandalised with graffiti spelling out “Anti Pass”.

The two letters ‘s’ from the word “Pass” were drawn to resemble the acronym SS, referring to Nazi Germany’s paramilitary force.

It is assumed to be a protest against France's COVID health pass, which prevents the unvaccinated from going to places like bars and restaurants. 

French president Emmanel Macron called the desecration of Mont Valérien "an insult to the memory of our heroes and to the memory of the nation".

"To defile this sacred place of the Republic is to undermine what unites us. The perpetrators will be found and then judged," the president added in a tweet.

The inscription on the Memorial of Fighting France, inaugurated by General de Gaulle in 1960 in Suresnes, is 50 metres long, police told AFP.

It was discovered early on Monday morning, police said.

The Minister for Remembrance and Veterans, Geneviève Darrieussecq, announced her intention to lodge a complaint "today on behalf of the Ministry of the Armed Forces".

"One month after the President of the Republic buried Mr Hubert Germain, the last Companion of the Liberation, this inscription reminds us that the fight against obscurantism and extremes of all kinds must not stop," she added.

"Stop the manipulation and misappropriation of our history, stop the use of symbols and places of our national memory for political or advocacy purposes," the minister said in a statement.

The Hauts-de-Seine prefecture said: "The prefect condemns in the strongest possible terms the unworthy damage to this site, which is a symbol of France's resistance and struggle. The police forces are mobilised to identify and find the perpetrators."