France - Politics - Simone Veil Elected at the Academie Francaise
Simone Veil, dressed in the French Academician's uniform of a black jacket embroidered with green laurel leaves and designed by Karl Lagerfeld, is inducted into the Academie Francaise as an "Immortel". Her sword was sculpted by Ivan Theimer. On the sword figures various symbols from her life, including the number which was indelibly stamped on her arm, 78651, and the name of the concentration camp where she was detained by the Nazis. On the blade, the French motto "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" and the Europeen motto "Unie dans la Diversite". The hilt of the sword is formed by two shaking hands. On one, the tree of life with emerald leaves, and on the other, flames of the crematory and ruby drops of blood. A balance represents justice, as Veil is a former magistrate, and a caduceus symbol represents medicine and her time as Minister of Health.
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