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To “commemorate” the 100th anniversary of the first World War’s horrific and bloody Battle of Verdun between French and German forces, French and German students trampled on the graves of the fallen and staged mock fights.
Thirty-four hundred teens reportedly participated in the event dubbed a performance art display that was choreographed by German filmmaker Volker Schlondorff and attended by both French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Reaction to the event was swift from both both countries. Breitbart News reported:
The centre right party of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, The Republicans, also expressed their disdain for the performance. Spokesman of the party, Guillaume Peltier, said the ceremony was full of “indecency and bad taste”. Member of the French National Assembly Eric Ciotti lamented that the event “should have been a moment of dignity,” and a chance to rally the country; but instead, thanks to President Hollande, he said the performance fractured French society even further.
The German reaction to the event wasn’t positive, either. Veteran journalist Thomas Schmid wrote that Sunday’s anniversary was “a naive simulation of death”. “Cemeteries are not just any place, they are neither sports fields or places of entertainment,” he said, and blamed Mr. Hollande’s and Ms. Merkel’s attempts at engaging young people in the history of the battle for the distasteful stunt. Criticising the mock fighting, he wrote: “The fake wrestling of casually dressed athletes had nothing to do with the atrocious misery of the soldiers who died there a hundred years ago.”
Marion Maréchal Le Pen, Member of the French Parliament and a rising star in conservative French politics, posted a video of the event:
— Marion Le Pen (@Marion_M_Le_Pen) May 29, 2016
Accompanying the video, she observed that the students “Trample the graves to the sound of drums to commemorate #Verdun2016 . The honor of our ancestors has been flouted .”
The Battle of Verdun was one of the largest of the war, and was fought over a period extending just shy of 10 months, from February 21 to December 18,1916.
The French eventually won that battle, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of casualties.
Speaking to host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon in the following radio interview, Breitbart London’s Oliver Lane discusses the Verdun commemorations beginning at about the three-minute mark on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily:
Lane described it as “a demonstration of the cultural death of Europe, which has become unable to even respect its own war dead.”
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Audio clip via Breitbart News.
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