London, Oct 4 (ANI): Renowned Holocaust historian Serge Klarsfeld has said that a recently uncovered 1940 document provides written proof of the personal involvement of Nazi-occupied France's wartime leader in persecuting Jews.
Klarsfeld, a lawyer and long-time Nazi hunter, said he was confident the document was genuine and called it the latest sign of official anti-Semitism by the French - and not just by their German occupiers.
The document, dated October 3 1940, is a draft of a statute on Jews under France's collaborationist Vichy regime. It includes what Klarsfeld says are handwritten notes by Vichy leader Marshal Philippe Petain describing how authorities should target Jews, notably by excluding them from public office and from working in schools, Daily Express reports.
Klarsfeld further said the document was 'decisive proof' that the measures were taken at the behest of Petain himself and that the handwritten notes showed that Petain in fact toughened the statute's original language.
"The statute was not written 'at the Germans' demands' and shows 'the will of Vichy to align itself with the Nazi racial ideology," the paper quoted Klarsfeld, as saying. (ANI)