French city official received a swastika birthday cake

Marcy Oster

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called for the firing of a city councilman from the French city of Montpelier over a birthday cake decorated with a swastika.

Montpelier councillor Djamel Boumaaz, a former member of France’s far-right National Front party, received the cake with a black swastika on a white background surrounded by cherry filling for his 40th birthday and posted a photo of it on social media. The tweet has since been removed.

The Wiesenthal Center posted a screenshot of the tweet on its Twitter page and in a statementdated July 25 called on the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism “to condemn Boumaaz and to urge the Mayor of Montpellier to take measures to remove him from his municipal functions.” The center is affiliated with the coalition.

Boumaaz has been fined in the past for performing numerous “quenelles” – an inverted Hitler salute created by anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne – including in the Montpelier city hall. It is an action banned by law in France.

His Twitter feed includes many references to the quenelle and a tweet in which he doctors a photo of the Gaza border to look like a concentration camp. In 2016, he wrote that his Twitter account was “forbidden to dogs and Jews.”

He told the French newspaper Le Parisien that he received the cake two years ago from a supporter and that the message that accompanied the cake noted that he turned it down. He said there was a police investigation of it at the time, following complaints from social media users, and that the case was ultimately closed.