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As a strong wind blew at "the coldest spot in Paris" - at least, according to one of the local photographers - Romain Anisten stood under the Arc de Triomphe, smiling broadly. "This is simply extraordinary," he said with emotion. Anisten, who had six decorations of honor pinned to his coat and was wearing a blue-and-white scullcap, said he was one of the few survivors of the infamous 1942 roundup of thousands of Parisian Jews, who were subsequently sent to concentration camps, mainly Auschwitz. "To see Shimon Peres here, being received by President Sarkozy on an official visit, is simply extraordinary," he said.

Anisten and his fellow WWII survivors, along with former Resistance fighters, stood out at the main ceremony for President Shimon Peres, at the Arc de Triomphe. All along the Champs Elysees were thousands of Parisians who snapped photos as the presidential motorcade crossed the boulevard, decorated with blue-and-white flags.