Anti-fascist protests took place across France last Saturday, coinciding with the first anniversary of the murder of anti-fascist student Clement Meric by Nazi thugs.
The fascist Front National (FN) won 25 percent of the vote in last month’s European election. This gave the protests extra urgency.
FN founder and honorary president Jean-Marie Le Pen provoked outrage last week.
He responded to criticism from a Jewish singer saying on video, “Next time we’ll do an oven batch”—a reference to the ovens used to kill Jews in the Holocaust.
The FN has a twin track strategy that it hopes will build a fascist party capable of vying for power. It tries to sanitise its image to gain new supporters in elections, but also uses more provocative statements to toughen some of them up.
In this case the vile stunt appeared to backfire—the FN tried to delete the video, and leading figures distanced themselves from the remark.