Simone Veil

First President of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah from 2001 to 2007, then Honorary President, Simone Veil was an exceptional woman driven by profoundly humanist convictions. She passed away on June 30, 2017, at the age of 90.

A survivor of the Holocaust, Simone Veil was a major figure in national and European public life in the 20th century. On her death, many tributes were paid to her, first at the Shoah Memorial, then by the President of the Republic on July 5, 2017 in the courtyard of honor of the Hôtel des Invalides, and on her entry into the Panthéon on July 1ᵉʳ, 2018, alongside her husband Antoine.

Since then, her name has been given to multiple schools, squares and public establishments.

Simone Veil

Simone Veil

Simone Veil left us on Friday June 30, 2017, at nearly 90 years of age. A survivor of the Holocaust, she was an exceptional woman driven by profoundly humanist convictions. First president of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah from 2001 to 2007, and honorary president since then, Simone Veil will always remain a role model for us.

A major figure in the memory of the Shoah, Simone Veil has always pleaded, not for a "duty to remember" imposed on all, but for knowledge of our shared history, its darkest pages - the Shoah and other genocides - and its brightest pages, such as that written by the Righteous. She was behind the national tribute paid to them at the Panthéon in 2007 by the then President of the Republic, Jacques Chirac.

On her academician's sword, she had her Auschwitz service number engraved, no. 78651, symbolizing the barbarity and dehumanization of the Nazi camps. It also bears the Republican motto "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité" and the European Union motto "United in diversity". This symbolizes her career and her fight for human dignity. Her commitment to women's rights is one of the most striking illustrations of this.

Simone Veil was one of the most eminent figures in national and European public life in the 20th century. Occupying a special place in the hearts of our fellow citizens, she is remembered as an exceptional woman. At the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, we strive to follow in her footsteps.

Simone et Antoine Veil au Panthéon

Hommages

Several tributes were paid to Simone Veil: a national tribute at Les Invalides shortly after her death, a ceremony at the Shoah Memorial, and her entry into the Panthéon with her husband Antoine Veil a year later.

National tribute at Les Invalides

The President of the Republic paid tribute to Simone Veil on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at a ceremony in the courtyard of honor at the Hôtel des Invalides. In front of a very large number of VIPs, Jean and Pierre-François Veil spoke with great emotion about the memory of their late mother.

The Head of State then expressed "the immense gratitude of the French people to one of their beloved children, whose example will never leave us". Concluding his eulogy, Emmanuel Macron announced that Simone Veil and her husband would be laid to rest in the Panthéon.

A delegation from the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah attended the ceremony.

Hommage public au Mémorial de la Shoah

The Shoah Memorial and the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah organized, in partnership with the Union des Déportés d'Auschwitz and the Fils et Filles des Déportés Juifs de France, a public tribute dedicated to Simone Veil on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at the Shoah Memorial.

Simone Veil was President of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah from 2001 to 2007 and a founding member of the Mémorial de la Shoah.

Speeches

Éric de Rothschild, President of the Shoah Memorial

Paul Schaffer, Ginette Kolinka and Marceline Loridan-Ivens, deportation comrades of Simone Veil 

Hubert Heilbronn, friend of the Veil family

Serge Klarsfeld, President of the Association of Sons and Daughters of Jews Deported from France

Jacques Fredj, Director of the Shoah Memorial

David de Rothschild, President of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah 

Simone et Antoine Veil au Panthéon

At the national tribute at Les Invalides on July 5, 2017, Emmanuel Macron had announced that Simone Veil would be laid to rest in the Pantheon with her husband. In a decree dated March 2, 2018, the President of the Republic confirmed this decision, taken in agreement with the family.

The ceremony of entry into the Panthéon was held on Sunday, July 1, 2018. For the previous two days, the coffins of Simone and Antoine Veil were on display in the crypt of the Shoah Memorial.

À lire, à voir, à écouter

Une vie, memoirs by Simone Veil (Stock, 2007)

Speeches 2002-2007 (éditions Le Manuscrit / Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, 2007)
Simone Veil's speeches as President of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah.

Video interview INA / FMS recorded in 2006 and unedited until October 2022.

Video testimony by Simone Veil recorded in March 1997 for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Los Angeles.

Mémoires Vives radio program with Simone Veil (RCJ, 27/01/2008)