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France allows Holocaust museums to digitize WWII archives

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/8/2016
Radu Ioanid, director of the International Archival Programs Division at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, left, speaks while French Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance Jean-Marc Todeschini, center, and Jacques Fredj, Executive Director of France's Shoah Memorial stay next to him during a signing ceremony in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. France's Defense Ministry signs a deal to hand over digitized versions of its archives around World War II persecution of Jews to Holocaust museums in Washington and Paris so that the public can access them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) © The Associated Press Radu Ioanid, director of the International Archival Programs Division at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, left, speaks while French Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance Jean-Marc Todeschini, center, and Jacques Fredj, Executive Director of France's Shoah Memorial stay next to him during a signing ceremony in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. France's Defense Ministry signs a deal to hand over digitized versions of its archives around World War II persecution of Jews to Holocaust museums in Washington and Paris so that the public can access them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — France has signed an accord to allow the Holocaust museums in Paris and Washington to digitize the vast French World War II archives so the museums can more easily display information on the collaborationist Vichy regime to the public.

Radu Ioanid, director of the International Archival Programs Division at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, left, French Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance Jean-Marc Todeschini, center, and Jacques Fredj, Executive Director of France's Shoah Memorial attend a signing ceremony in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. France's Defense Ministry signs a deal to hand over digitized versions of its archives around World War II persecution of Jews to Holocaust museums in Washington and Paris so that the public can access them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) © The Associated Press Radu Ioanid, director of the International Archival Programs Division at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, left, French Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance Jean-Marc Todeschini, center, and Jacques Fredj, Executive Director of France's Shoah Memorial attend a signing ceremony in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. France's Defense Ministry signs a deal to hand over digitized versions of its archives around World War II persecution of Jews to Holocaust museums in Washington and Paris so that the public can access them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Speaking at a Paris ceremony Thursday, France's Veterans Minister Jean Marc-Todeschini said the "rise of populism in parts of the world" makes educating younger generations about the war vital.

Radu Ioanid, Director of the International Archival Programs Division at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, left, French Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance Jean-Marc Todeschini, center, and Jacques Fredj Executive Director of France's Shoah Memorial shake hands after a signing ceremony in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. France's Defense Ministry signs a deal to hand over digitized versions of its archives around World War II persecution of Jews to Holocaust museums in Washington and Paris so that the public can access them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) © The Associated Press Radu Ioanid, Director of the International Archival Programs Division at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, left, French Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance Jean-Marc Todeschini, center, and Jacques Fredj Executive Director of France's Shoah Memorial shake hands after a signing ceremony in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. France's Defense Ministry signs a deal to hand over digitized versions of its archives around World War II persecution of Jews to Holocaust museums in Washington and Paris so that the public can access them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

After the Germans invaded and occupied France in 1940, France's Vichy-based government collaborated with the Nazis and helped deport Jews to concentration camps.

Radu Ioanid, international acquisitions director for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum says the digitalization project to be carried out by a group of archivists also will help uncover information on war criminals and anti-Semitic crimes committed in France.

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