Who was Simone Veil?

Simone Veil was a survivor of Auschwitz who later became France’s Minister of Health and the President of the European Parliament (1984 June 23). Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Nationaal Archief, NL)

Simone Veil (1927-2017), born Simone Jacob in Nice, France, was deported to Auschwitz in March of 1944, and from there to the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany, where she was liberated on April 15, 1945. After returning to France, she studied law, becoming a magistrate, and in 1974 she was named Minister of Health by French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

She subsequently served as President of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1982, and was again the French Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Urban Issues from 1993 to 1995. “Her uncompromising humanism, wrought by the horror of the camps, made her the constant ally of the weakest, and the resolute enemy of any political compromise with the extreme right,” declared President Emmanuel Macron after her death on June 30, 2017.

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