Europe

The Latest: Israel protests Le Pen denial on Holocaust role

The Latest on France's two-round, April 23-May 7 presidential election (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Israel's Foreign Ministry has condemned comments by France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen denying that the French State was responsible for rounding up Jews in World War II.

The ministry says in a statement that her comments are "contrary to historical truth, as expressed in the statements of successive French presidents who recognized France's responsibility for the fate of the French Jews who perished in the Holocaust."

Former president Jacques Chirac formally acknowledged the state's role in Jewish persecution in 1995, a position maintained and approved by his successors Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry also says France's recognition of its responsibility "underpins the annual events marking the anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews from France and the study of the Holocaust in the education system, both of which are important elements in the battle against anti-Semitism, which unfortunately is once again raising its head."

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10:30 a.m.

Emmanuel Macron, an independent French presidential candidate, says his far-right rival Marine Le Pen made "a serious mistake" by denying that France State was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II.

He was among many presidential candidates criticizing Le Pen's comments Monday.

Macron, the front-runner in the April 23-May 7 two-round election, told BFM TV that "some had forgotten that Marine Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen." Le Pen's father repeatedly has been convicted for anti-Semitism and racism.

Le Pen said Sunday on RTL radio "I don't think France is responsible for the Vel d'Hiv," a reference to the stadium where thousands of Jews were rounded up in July 1942 before being sent to Nazi death camps.

Le Pen later said in a statement she "considers that France and the Republic were in London" during wartime and "the Vichy regime wasn't France."

In all, about 75,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Only 2,500 survived.