captions added by this website]|
Thursday, October 14, 2004
ways to sanction Holocaust doubter
PARIS - France is checking
whether it can take legal action against a leading
far-right politician who has questioned whether the
Nazis used gas chambers in the Holocaust, Justice
Minister Dominique Perben said on
The University of Lyon has urged education
officials to suspend Bruno Gollnisch, a
professor of Japanese there, for questioning how
the gas chambers were used in the wartime slaughter
of the Jews and querying the death toll.
The president of the European Parliament,
Josep Borrell, also called for legal action
against Gollnisch, a European deputy who is also
the number two man in the National Front party of
extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.
"Mr Gollnisch's comments are absolutely
unacceptable," Perben told France Info radio in
announcing the probe.
"In an affair like this, I
think the response should not only be penal ... but
it should be political and possibly also
France anti-racism laws
have made denying the Holocaust a crime,
punishable by fines and even prison.
Gollnisch, who is known as the intellectual of
the controversial party, said on Monday he
recognized that the gas chambers had existed but
thought historians still had to decide whether they
were actually used to kill Jews.
He called for an open debate about whether the
total number of Jews killed in the Holocaust was
actually 6 million as stated.
He also questioned the objectivity of leading
historian Henry Rousso, who is investigating
charges that certain Lyon lecturers were denying
the Holocaust, by calling him "a Jewish
The CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish
organizations publicly condemned Gollnisch's
comments at a news conference about Rousso's report
on Holocaust denial at Lyon University.
European Parliament head Borrell said: "I would
like to say clearly to public opinion in Europe and
to all those who suffered from Nazi ethnic
cleansing that the European Parliament will not
tolerate this kind of statement."
At his Monday news conference, Gollnisch also
said that serious historians no longer accepted
that all the judgements of the post-war Nuremberg
Trials of leading Nazis were fair.
"I don't know if I will lose my chair as
professor of Japanese or even be put in prison for
saying that, but I stand by it," he added.
Gollnisch, who studied law and political science
at Kyoto University in Japan, holds a chair for
Japanese language and civilization at the Lyon
university named after Jean Moulin -- the
hero of the French Resistance murdered by the Nazis
Henri Rocques case: Thesis
mark condemned | France
stops doctorate on Nazi gas chambers |
publishes thesis as book
Mar 2004: Simon
Wiesenthal Centre Testifies in Paris "Libel"
Suit against Norman Finkelstein
documents on the French Government's fight
against Free Speech