January 6, 1984
"It is impossible to erase the marks of the genocide with which you were struck. This must be inscribed in the memory of mankind and this sacrifice must simultaneously serve as a lesson to the young and as the will to survive."
Visiting the Isere*
The president of the Republic paid homage to the Armenian community
On Saturday, January 6, Mr. François Mitterrand paid a surprise visit to the Isere. The head of state visited an appliance manufacturing plant in Bourgoin-Jalieu, then, in Vienne, whose mayor is National Assembly President Mr. Louis Mermaz, he met with that town's Armenian community which had gathered to celebrate Armenian Christmas.
In Vienne, after a quick walk around the market which surrounds City Hall, Mr. Mitterrand addressed the Armenian community gathered in the Mayoralty. The Armenian Cause has sometimes been "taken off track" because of violence, underlined the head of state, who considers that "there can be no misunderstanding between Armenians and France". "France is a land of welcome and hospitality" he said. "The sons of those who have suffered so much know well that they have been completely integrated into the French community. "Recalling the 1915 genocide, Mr. Mitterrand added: "It is impossible to erase the marks of the genocide with which you were struck. This must be inscribed in the memory of mankind and this sacrifice must simultaneously serve as a lesson to the young and as the will to survive, so that all will know throughout time that this people does not belong to the past, but is truly of the present and has a future. " "There can be no misunderstanding," he repeated alluding to the "few elements who, having generally come from abroad, want to practice towards France whose sole responsibility is that of having been friendly acts of violence, which make all of us suffer. This is not an acceptable method. I will never accept it, " he said.
Le Monde (French-language newspaper published in Paris), Tuesday, January 10, 1984, No. 12116.