Discussion Papers Series
Simone Veil was 16 years old when she and her family were deported from France to concentration camps in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, where most of them perished. Madame Veil has held a number of public offices in France, including Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Family, fighting to defend the rights of women, prisoners, orphans and children. In 1979, she became the first President of the newly elected European Parliament, a position that she held until 1982. She also served as President of the French Council for Integration in 1997 and became a member of the Constitutional Council in 1998.
From 2000 to 2007, Simone Veil served as President of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah. Since 2003, she has chaired the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court. On 28 January 2007, Madame Veil delivered the keynote address at the observance of the second universal International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust that was held in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Simone Veil has received many awards in recognition of her lifelong fight for human rights and was elected to the French Academy on November 2008.
Photo: Michel DIEUZAIDE