"My family (cousins) were held by the terrorists ... in the kosher supermarket" by SWC Paris President, Richard Odier

13 January 2015
11 January 2015 - "Each time I speak about Simon Wiesenthal, I am asked, “Did you meet him?” Each time I tell the same story.

I was young, he was my hero, I came with Shimon Samuels (SWC International Relations Director) and with his unique way, Simon Wiesenthal looked at me and just after I said hello, he said: "Don’t be a schmuck and don't search for Nazis, your generation will have to fight the new forms of anti-Semitism and racism." I was choked, but this Yiddish word was the best advice ever heard. Simon Wiesenthal knew that troubles would go on.

At the beginning of the 2000's I went undercover in radical Islam meetings. It was just after the Gulf war. We discovered Hamas branches in Europe but also youth camps to send kids in Yemen, Libya or Iraq.

Shimon Samuels  and I made several reports and warnings to European leaders for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. No one helped us or followed us except in France by the Charlie Hebdo staff. Shimon was sued in court; he won after years of battles.

Fourteen years after the anti-Semitic, World Forum, in Durban, 10 years after this story, I cry and shout.

First because of Toulouse, Sarcelles, Creteil, Bruxelles, Ilan Halimi, but also because my family was held in Vincennes in the kosher supermarket.

We were not heard.

So now, we expect actions from Europe and western countries. But don't worry our tears are already dry, we turn to life and we will never cease to have hope - Hatikva.