PARIS (BP) -- His hands trembled when Benjamin* saw a letter his son-in-law received, stamped with the letterhead of the government offices of Paris' fourth administrative district.
In fact he trembled all over, so much that he had to sit down.
It turned out the letter was just asking his son-in-law to renew his driver's license. But it took the rest of the day for the 90-year-old Jewish man to recover from just the sight of the letterhead.
It was too much like the letter that summoned him away from his home 70 years ago during the Holocaust and landed him in a German concentration camp for five years. When he returned home, most of his family was dead.
Seven decades have passed, but the memory is still fresh for the Jewish grandfather.
"Sometimes it's easy for us to think about the Holocaust in terms of, 'That was a long time ago. That kind of prejudice doesn't still exist,'" said Richard Hall*, a social scientist familiar with Jewish history. "But actually we are still in a generation when people can tell their children that the reason they aren't allowed to wear striped pajamas is because their grandma or grandpa had to wear them in prison camps. The memory isn't far removed at all."
And if that were not enough for Jews in Paris, there's a message just for them carved into the front of the city's imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, right in the heart of the city's fourth district.
It's been there 1,000 years. Ships 20 miles away on the Seine River could see it. Tourists from all over the world have their photo made in front of it.
The message is a statue called Synagogua, and it portrays the Jewish community as "damaged goods," Hall said. Synagogua is a woman with a broken staff, broken tablets and a snake wrapped around her eyes to indicate she's been blinded by evil. Read More