A Life

Simone Veil

Veil, the former French politician who became first President of the European Union, was born Simone Jacob in 1927. In her long-awaited memoir, she describes in vivid detail a time of happiness and innocence spent in Nice where she grew up. This happy time came to an abrupt end in 1944, when at the age of 17, her family was deported to the camps. Her mother, father and brother all died in captivity. With undeterred resolve, she studied law and political science and became “Minister for Health” (1974- 1979) in the government of Jacques Chirac where her hardest political fight was to introduce the law to legalize abortion. She was elected the first female “President of the European Parliament” (1979-1985) and returned to French government as “Minister for Social Affairs” (1993-1995). In 1998, aged 70, she received an honorary damehood (DBE) from the British Government for her contributions to humanity. Veil, one of France’s most beloved political figures, is admired for her personal and political courage, and enjoys respect from all political spectrums. Her memoir is a sincere and candid account of an extraordinary life and career, which reflect her humanity and determination to improve social standards at home and maintain economical and political stability in Europe.

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