Re: "Gazette won't apologize for 1849 riot, fires" (Gazette, April 25).
Mario Beaulieu of the Societé St. Jean Baptiste is in no position to complain about The Gazette's role in the 1849 riots, as the SSJB has never apologized for its fascist, anti-Semitic past.
Two weeks after 91 German Jews were murdered in the Nazi Kristallnacht of 1938, and thousands more were sent to concentration camps, the SSJB sent a message to Ottawa demanding that no Jewish refugees be admitted to Canada.
In 1944, when the world knew that mass murder was going in Europe and thousands of Quebec Jews were serving in Canada's armed forces, the SSJB sent a second petition to Ottawa demanding again that Jewish refugees be kept out.
Many of the passages about Montreal's Jews in the society's 1975 official history would today be classed as hate literature, and the book's fawning praise of Vichy France included a claim that attacks on its ruler, Marshal Pétain, were comparable to attacks on Joan of Arc.
Let Mario Beaulieu clean the skeletons out of the SSJB's 20th-century closet before worrying about 1849. And if Beaulieu has never read his group's fascist, Pétainist, and anti-Semitic official history, I would be happy to lend him my personal copy.