Simone Veil Honored with Pantheon Burial
It takes an extremely special type of person to merit burial at the Pantheon. After all, to be buried at the Pantheon is to be interred among some of the greatest thinkers that our society has ever known. With Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and Voltaire all making their final resting place at the Pantheon, people can easily see what an extraordinary honor it is. Within the past few days, there has been word that Holocaust survivor and women's rights champion Simone Veil will take her rightful place among these greats.
Although she will now rest in eternal peace at one of the most esteemed places in the world, Veil's life was marked by a very rocky start. As a teen, she was shipped off to Auschwitz with her family. Later on, Veil's family was separated, with some being sent to Bergen-Belsen and others being shipped off to Lithuania. The horrific conditions of these concentration camps would eventually claim the lives of many in her family. Veil's parents and brother all died as a result of the Holocaust, but somehow she was able to stave off the worst until the camp was liberated by Allied forces. Miraculously, Veil would emerge from the death camps alive.
In 1946, Simone married Antoine Veil. The couple would end up staying together until his death—for an impressive 66 years. It wasn't long before Veil started her political career, and she was instrumental in winning the legal right for women to have abortions. She also made it a great deal easier for women to gain access to contraception. All throughout her life, Veil served her country in various capacities. From her post as Minister of Health to her position serving as a member of the European Parliament, Veil was always committed to helping her country.
She also did a great deal of work speaking on behalf of those who endured the Holocaust. Serving as the first president of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, she was later given a position as the honorary president. In 2008, Veil was elected to the Académie française. Although she passed away over a week ago—just a couple weeks shy of her ninetieth birthday—her great works will live on in France.
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