Simone Veil: French politician and Holocaust survivor dies

Latest news

    Simone Veil attending a ceremony in memory of her brother and 10 other Jewish children deported by the Nazis during WWII, in Nice, October 2007.Image copyright AFP
    Image caption Simone Veil survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen

    The French politician, women’s rights champion and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil has died at the age of 89.

    Best known in France for her instrumental role in legalising abortion in the 1970s, she went on to serve as the first president of an elected European Parliament.

    Ms Veil, a liberal, later re-entered French politics, returning to the cabinet in the 1990s.

    President Emmanuel Macron described her as “inspiring” and the best of France.

    She became one of the 40 “immortals” of the Académie Française in 2010 – a great honour in France.

    Ms Veil was France’s minister of health from 1974-79, in which role she made access to contraception easier and fought a long battle to legalise abortion.

    The law which did so, passed in 1975, is known as “la loi Veil”.

    Image copyright AFP
    Image caption Simone Veil was France’s health minister in the 1970s

    Simon Veil became an MEP in the 1979 European elections, and she was elected as president of the parliament.

    She later went on to become the leader of the liberal grouping within the parliament, and stood down as an MEP in 1993.

    She again became a French minister, before being appointed to the constitutional council of France.

    Born in Nice in 1927 as Simone Jacob, her whole family was arrested by the Germans in 1944.

    Her father and brother were transported to eastern Europe and were never heard from again.

    The teenaged Simone was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and then Bergen-Belsen with her mother and oldest sister. Her mother died shortly before liberation.

    Her other sister, Denise, had joined the French Resistance and was imprisoned at Ravensbrück concentration camp.

    The three sisters survived the war but the eldest, Madeleine, was killed in a car crash in the 1950s.

    View the original article:

    Ms Veil was married to the late Antoine Veil for more than 60 years and the couple had three children.

    Image copyright EPA
    Image caption Simone Veil returned to Auschwitz in 2005 for events to mark the 60th anniversary of its liberation

    In the same category are

    Momentum chief Jon Lansman’s ‘run on pound’ fear A future Labour government should prepare for resistance from global corporations and could face a run on the pound, Momentum's founder says.Jon Lan...
    Anthony Bourdain: Chef’s mother plans memorial tattoo Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead at a French hotel on 8 June The mother of US chef and television p...
    Who is Tommy Robinson and why is he in jail? Tommy Robinson has been jailed for 13 months after breaking contempt of court laws for streaming a Facebook Live outside Leeds court.Since his impriso...
    Why many mums are better than one Image caption Sue and one of her "second mums", Wendy They say you can't choose your family - but why not? Sometimes an extra mother figure is jus...
    Meet Game of Thrones’ woman of weapons Image copyright N Lee/Getty Image caption Natalia Lee has worked closely with Thrones star Kit Harington It's probably not a good idea to get into...
    Teens on 9-1 GCSEs: ‘Everyone’s worried about grade boundaries’ Image caption They're glad it's all over, but a little worried that grade boundaries could be high After weeks of stress, pressure and revision, G...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.