Gatineau renames two city streets after complaints over Nazi links
Philipp Lenard St to be named after Albert Einstein, while Alexis-Carrel Street to be named after Marie Curie
Alexis-Carrel and Philipp Lenard streets in Gatineau will be renamed after complaints that the two former Nobel Prize winners who inspired the street names were Nazi sympathizers.
Gatineau city council voted Tuesday night to rename Philipp Lenard Street after Albert Einstein and Alexis-Carrel Street after Marie Curie.
The two streets are in the neighbourhood around the Gatineau Hospital, where many of streets bear the names of Nobel Prize winners.
Carrel was a French surgeon and the Nobel Prize winner for medicine in 1912 for his work with vascular suturing techniques, while Lenard won the 1905 Nobel Prize for physics for his research into cathode rays.
Quebec's Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs began a campaign to get the city to change the street names, arguing Carrel was a supporter of eugenics and had an active role with the Vichy France government installed after Nazi Germany invaded France and that Lenard was an early supporter for Nazi ideology who had served as an advisor to Adolph Hitler.
A petition to rename the streets didn't get enough votes to go before council, but Gilles Carpentier, the councillor for the district, took up the cause anyway and put forth a motion to rename the streets.
Council passed the motion Tuesday night 14 to 5.
Carpentier told Hallie Cotnam on Ottawa Morning Wednesday residents opposed to the change were mostly concerned with the administrative burden it would place on them personally, and said councillors who voted against it were more concerned about the precedent it would set for future name changes.
But Carpentier said his own "human values" meant he had to push for the change.