06 July 2003
Yad Vashem ardently protests the reinstatement of the pension of convicted war criminal Maurice Papon. Papon was found guilty in 1998 for his role in the deportation from France of some 1,500 Jews to Nazi camps during World War II. Sentenced to ten years imprisonment, he was released last autumn owing to his advanced age and ill health.
The combination of his early release and the reinstatement of his pension amounts to a travesty of justice, since Papon’s actual punishment falls far short of being commensurate to his heinous crimes. Morally obtuse bureaucratic thinking has led to the kid glove handling of a notorious war criminal. This treatment is an insult to both the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and to survivors.
Yad Vashem applauds the courageous stand taken by the French Justice Minister Dominique Perben, who opposes the latest decision in favor of Papon.